In an executive order issued on Friday, May 1, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that this year’s school budget vote and board of education election will take place on June 9, exclusively by absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
The executive order establishes a timeline of actions that schools must undertake leading up to this date, including sending an absentee ballot with a prepaid return envelope to all qualified voters. Qualified voters are defined as U.S. citizens who are 18 years or older and have lived in the district for at least 30 days prior to the vote.
Following budget adoption, the district will make the proposed budget available to the public, hold a budget hearing (which will take place remotely), and mail a budget notice and newsletter to all residents after the budget hearing. This procedure is no different than other years except for the hearing being held remotely.
Pine Bush will hold its public hearing on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, starting at 7 p.m. via livestream.
Absentee ballots only
The governor’s executive order calls for districts to send each qualified voter a postcard with the date of the election, the date of the budget hearing and the definition of a qualified voter.
All registered voters will receive an absentee ballot. There will be no in-person voting for the 2020 school board and budget election. Voters must either mail their ballots or drop them off at the district office. Ballots must be received at the district office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Any ballots received after that time will not be counted.
If a qualified voter does not receive a ballot in the mail by May 22, they should contact the district by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 845-744-4023.
Board of Education Election
The executive order waives the minimum signature threshold for board of education candidates. This means that residents who want to run for a seat on the board of education do not have to canvas for signatures. However, candidates must meet all of the other requirements to run for the board including the following:
- must be 18 years of age or older;
- must be a citizen of the United States;
- must be able to read and write;
- must have lived in the district continuously for one year prior to the election;
- Cannot be an employee of the Pine Bush Central School District;
- must be the only member of his or her family (that is, cannot be a member of the same household) on the Pine Bush Central School District Board;
- may not simultaneously hold another incompatible public office, including, but not limited to superintendent, clerk, tax collector, treasurer or librarian, or an employee of the board;
- must not have been removed from a school District Office within one year preceding the date of appointment or election to the Board.
Those individuals who wish to be candidates for the Pine Bush Central School District Board of Education must submit a petition to the district office by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 11. Email petitions to email@example.com or mail them to PBCSD, P.O. Box 700, Pine Bush NY 12566 or drop them off at the Pine Bush Central School District office, located at 156 Route 302, Pine Bush, next to Pine Bush High School.