Dear Pine Bush parents and staff,
Tonight’s message is about our school elections that were postponed by Governor Cuomo from the third Tuesday in May to now occur on Tuesday, June 9. However, since you can only vote by absentee ballot, you’ll have to mail your ballot well before that date, because we won’t be able to count it if it arrives after 5 p.m. on June 9. (The rules for absentee ballots in school elections are different than the rules for absentee ballots in primary and general elections for local, state, and national offices.)
The governor’s Executive Order expanded the people who can vote in this election. Usually, only registered voters are allowed to vote, but Cuomo’s Executive Order said all “qualified” voters can vote in this election. All registered voters (both those registered by the Board of Elections and those who personally registered with the District Clerk) will be getting a ballot In the mail automatically.
“Qualified” voters are people who meet four criteria. You have to be: 1.) a United States citizen, 2.) 18 years of age or older on or before June 9, 2020, 3.) a resident of the Pine Bush School District for at least 30 days by election day, and 4.) not otherwise be prohibited from voting in New York. “Qualified” voters who are otherwise unregistered will have to fill out a form on our website, asking that a ballot be mailed to them.
Your ballots will arrive with the two envelopes needed to return them. The ballot will go into one envelope that will protect it and verify it comes from you, and then that envelope will go into a return envelope that has its postage pre-paid by the district.
The ballot will include the budget proposition for next school year plus two seats on the Board of Education – the seats currently held by Kristi Kheiralla and Cara Robertson. At tomorrow night’s Board meeting, we will announce who has filed petitions to fill those seats and how many names will appear on the ballot.
Also at tomorrow’s meeting, May 12, the Board of Education is expected to formally adopt the budget for 2020-21. They will hold a public hearing on the budget two weeks later on May 26. A budget newsletter will be mailed to arrive shortly after the public hearing. Our website will have a form for residents to submit questions and/or statements to be read at that public hearing, since all of our meetings are currently closed to the public and live streamed on our website. The public hearing will also afford an opportunity for board candidates to present themselves.
All of this information will be posted on our website and I will send another reminder call as we get closer to the public hearing and to election day – June 9.
Don’t forget that we will be distributing free face masks for each family along with our meals for kids tomorrow at all three meal distribution sites between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
I’ll be back this Wednesday with info about a survey on our food distribution plan.
Until then, please stay healthy and safe by honoring social distance guidelines and wearing masks in public.
Tim O. Mains, Pine Bush Superintendent