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Voters in both counties green-light school budgets

May 19, 2022 6:00 am

Voters in all 12 school districts in Greene and Columbia counties on Tue., May 17, overwhelmingly approved the districts' proposed 2022-23 spending plans. and ballot propositions. Parry Teasdale is reporting in The Columbia Paper the margin of victory in the New Lebanon district was so large for the budget and a bus purchase proposition that, in a brief website letter to the community, schools Superintendent Andrew Kourt referred to the victories as “80 percent” and “70 percent” respectively. The budget for Ichabod Crane received strong support, winning approval with 1,155 yes votes compared to 597 voting no. The proposition to purchase four school buses for $444,000 was green-lighted by voters with a margin almost as large as the budget vote tally. In Hudson, the $54 million budget was easily approved and in the Board of Education election, incumbents Willette Jones, Lakia Walker and Mark DePace were re-elected to three-year terms; Kjirsten Gustavson received the fourth highest number of votes and will be awarded one of the partial terms ending in June 2023. The fifth open seat, with a partial term ending in June 2023, was won by Calvin Lewis, a write-in candidate. In Greene County, the story was similar. Ted Remsnyder is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media budgets in the Catskill, Coxsackie-Athens, Cairo-Durham, Hunter-Tannersville and Windham-Ashland-Jewett districts, were all approved by wide margins. Catskill Central School District Superintendent Ronel Cook wrote in an email Wednesday, “We thank our taxpayers for their support with helping us to maintain our current level of staffing, while providing students with the highest quality of academics and extracurricular programs. ... I am extremely happy for our students, staff and the community.” Voters in the Greenville district approved the proposed budget as well as a $1.1 million proposition to purchase 10 new vehicles. In the Cairo-Durham board election, Incumbent Todd Hilgendorff was re-elected to a three-year term, with James H. McManus III and Cheryl Moore also earning seats on the board. All local districts kept their tax levy increases at or below the state-mandated cap.