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Sereno, DeCastro Win Oswego School Board Seats; Propositions All Pass

UPDATED

In our follow up to last night’s voting in the Oswego City school District, there have been some slight changes in the final numbers. All absentee ballots are included:

Voters in the Oswego City School District approved  the 2012-13 budget, the purchase of 10 new school buses and a $15 million school improvement project as they went to the polls on Tuesday.

Nearly 78% of the voters casting ballots for the budget approved the $76.6 million financial package as the vote was 1,583-445.

The district, in its effort to continue to maintain an efficient bus fleet that addresses the health and safety of Oswego’s students, asked the district taxpayers for 10 buses. Voters approved this proposition 1,520-485.

The final proposition addressed school district projects with roofing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning as  well as the completion of the Oswego Middle School athletic field.

This $15 million referendum  was a continuation of the planning that went into the  voter approved 2007 EXCEL capital project.  Oswego School District voters approved the capital project 1,376-523.

Two persons were also elected to serve on the Oswego City School District Board of Education. Lynda Sereno received 1,126 votes and Thomas DeCastro 1,122 as the two will commence their three year term on July 2.

Francis Zaryski received 1,076 votes and Sean Madden 691.

 ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW

OSWEGO, NY – Voters today returned an incumbent to the Oswego School Board and one new member.

Incumbent Tom DeCastro finished second in the unofficial results just two votes behind Lynda Sereno.

Sereno finished with 1,120 and DeCastro with 1,118.

First timer Fran Zaryski placed third in the race for the two open seats with 1,074 votes. And former board member Sean Madden received 689 votes.

The two winners will each serve a three-year term.

DeCastro won a second term in office.

Incumbent Fran Hoefer decided not to seek re-election.

Oswego City School District voters also approved the budget, the purchase of 10 new buses and a $15 million school improvement capital project.

The unofficial vote tally for the budget was 1,576 yes to 445 no.

For the buses the unofficial results were 1,513 yes to 485 no and for the capital project it was 1,370 yes to 523 no.

“I’m just so excited; I can’t stand it!” Sereno told Oswego County Today. “I have my family all around me and everyone is so happy and excited.”

Tax stability was the biggest concern she heard while campaigning, and is what she says she will focus on as a board member.

“I’m honored to be elected. I want to thank everyone who voted for me,” she said. “And, I also want to thank the other candidates. They put themselves out there, too. It’s always been my dream to serve the community.”

DeCastro also said he wants to focus on keeping the tax rate down.

“I accomplished some things during my first term and I want to continue along those lines,” he said. “We’ve been able to hold the tax rate down and I hope we can continue to do that as well as return some programs like business.”

He said he’d also like to see more technology teachers. That would help reduce the dropout rate while increasing the graduation rates, he said.

“I’m glad all three of the propositions passed. It makes you feel like you’re doing something right when you get that kind of support,” he added. “I’d like to thank everybody that voted for me again this time. I want to keep working to improve the district.”

“I appreciate the support of the voters tonight,” said Superintendent Bill Crist. “I spoke with the board president and members. They are very happy with the results, also. They worked very hard with the administration to address the needs of the district and its direction.”

Sereno, he said, will be “a welcome addition to the board.”

“The school board is coming together for the best interests of the kids and the community,” the superintendent said.

He also thanked Zaryski and Madden for their efforts.

“The future looks bright for Oswego,” Crist said. “I want to thank the community for its support of the budget and the propositions. We have a very good team and I look forward to working with the new board.”

3 Comments

  1. Two teachers winning the school board election…what a treat for the taxpayers. I used the pencil and wrote in Fran Hoefer.

    Also great job to the voters for approving a $15 million capital plan, of which they only need $9 million for their wish list. That last $6 million of “contingency for unforeseen emergencies” will be used on raises for the superintendent and the rest of the staff.

  2. It can only be used for capital expenses. There are no salaries allowed for capital expenses.

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