Reelect Meier, Johnson, elect Watkins to the board of education
Voters in the Pine Bush Central School District have approved the district’s $118,775,551 budget for the 2019-2020 school year.
Voters were split on the two capital improvement propositions, voting yes on the first, which addresses critical issues at each of the district’s seven buildings, and no on the athletics portion.
Three seats were up for grabs on the board of education. Dori Johnson, Gretchen Meier and Matthew Watkins were the top three voter-getters in the field of six, which also included Erik Buckley, Jillian Caci and Nancy Vinella.
These results are unofficial, pending the counting of absentee ballots.
“We are truly grateful for the support we receive for our budget time and time again from our voters,” said Superintendent Tim Mains. “The board and administrators worked diligently to maintain the programs we currently have while also adding to them to give our students the best opportunities.”
Mains said he was pleased that voters approved the capital project addressing the repairs at its seven school buildings but was disappointed that the athletics proposition appears to have failed. The two propositions were original presented to voters as one proposition in December, 2018. The Central Design Committee worked to make the two capital improvement projects palatable to district voters.
“We felt that both of these propositions were viable for the district so we are disappointed that we will not be upgrading and repairing our athletic facilities for our students as well as our community at large,” said Mains.
“However, we will begin the process for the repairs and additions at the schools, including the installation of new secure vestibules at each district school,” Main added.
The district cut $22,725,000, nearly 30 percent, from the original capital improvement project put forth in December.
“We really dove in to see what could be modified, eliminated or done in-house by our maintenance staff,” said Mains.
The district will utilize its $7.5 million in district capital reserve funds and state aid of more than 70 percent to complete the capital project.
“Balancing our fiscal responsibility with the obligation we have to keep our facilities safe and well-maintained is often one of the biggest challenges we face,” Mains said.
Mains also looked forward to the new board.
“I am thrilled to continue to work with Dori Johnson and Gretchen Meier on the board of education,” Mains said, “and it looks like we may be able to welcome Matt Watkins back to the board.” Mains continued, “While Lloyd Greer Jr. did not seek reelection, I’d like to thank him for his dedication to this district and our community.”
Yes 1361 No 711
Capital Project Proposition 1 – Buildings
Yes 1337 No 716
Capital project Proposition 2 – Athletics
Yes 1020 No 1048
Board of Education Candidates
Dori Johnson 1020
Matthew Watkins 877
Gretchen Meier 1229
Erik Buckley 841
Jillian Caci 859
Nancy Vinella 728