Seeing Catskill school election

Seeing Greene blog breaks down the Catskill school elections:

That result attests to influence exerted by local teachers. The victorious newcomers were endorsed by the Catskill Teachers Association (along with Francesca Daisernia, who finished fifth). Thus, no sitting trustee evoked CTA approval, and the CTA-endorsed candidates presented themselves as agents of “change” in board operations, change in the directions of greater “transparency and accountability” of district operations, of economizing chiefly by curbing administrative costs, and of fostering greater freedom of expression for teachers and other staff under the administration of Superintendent Kathleen Farrell. The top vote-getter, however, did not dwell on those themes. Mr Bulich presented himself as a hard-headed “very conservative” trustee, sensitive to economic “tough times,” concerned about nurturing “a healthy private sector,” skeptical of non-traditional programs, keen to imbue students with firm “discipline” along with “understanding…of the true meaning of what it is to be an American,” calling for more rigorous evaluations of district employees, and condemning contracts give employees “never-ending rise[s] of salaries and benefits.” Read the entire story in Seeing Greene.

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School election results

Cairo-Durham school election results: School Budget Passed 551-527; Library Appropriation Failed 477-581; Biomass heating system Failed 433-625. Board Member results: Greg Koerner-Fox – 584; Thomas Plank – 564; Beatrice Clappin – 537; Pat Ublacker – 512; Nicole Maggio – 472; Dean Pectal – 456; Sam Mozzillo – 338. The Daily Mail reports Catskill results:

Catskill Central School District’s $36.6 million budget package for 2010-11 was approved by district voters Tuesday night in a 2-1 margin of 712-375. The Catskill Public Library budget was also passed with an approximate 2-1 margin, 701-368. Elected to the Board of Education for three-year terms were incumbent Michael Bulich, who was returned to the board for his second term with 579 votes, and first-timers Christopher Van Loan and Tracy Powell, who drew 439 and 408 votes, respectively. Elected to a two-year term — the unserved balance of an existing seat from a former BOE member — was first-timer Matthew Leipman, who received 402 votes.

The Daily Mail also has Coxsackie-Athens results:

The 2010-2011 budget for the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District was adopted by voters by a margin of 738 votes to 521. Three Board of Education seats were also up for grabs in the vote held yesterday – incumbents Mark Gerrain, Russell Nadler and Beth Tailleur were all up for re-election. Gerrain and Tailleur had easy victories, but Nadler was unseated by opponent Stephen Oliveira, who won 575 votes to Nadler’s 404.

In Hudson, Register-Star reports:

The Hudson City School District budget for 2010-2011 squeaked by Tuesday by a margin of a little more than 100 votes. District voters also reelected Mary Daly (663 votes) to the School Board and brought aboard Peter Merante Sr. (717), Justin Cukerstein, 593 votes. He may still may get a board seat. Patricia Abitabile, currently in the second year of her second five-year term, is resigning from the board as of June 30. There has yet to be a resolution on how Abitabile will be replaced, but a discussion at a recent BOE meeting seemed to indicate the candidate with the third highest number of votes could garner her seat. Carrie Haddad received 422 votes and Peter Rice Jr., garnered 263.

In Taconic Hills, Register-Star reports:

The 2010-2011 budget for the Taconic Hills Central School District passed Tuesday after polls closed, with 604 yes and 377 no votes….Joseph Costa (552), a Claverack automotive business owner who said he would encourage attendance at board meetings, and Kevin Maisenbacher (511), a branch manager at Key Corp/N.A. Licensed Investment, who hopes to involve the community more deeply in board decisions, won the district’s two open school board seats, replacing incumbent board members Scott Decker and Tom Bailey.

The story does not report the other vote totals. Also: Chatham Central School District voters passed the 2010-11 budget of $26,614,687 Tuesday by a margin of 441 for and 260 against. Incumbent candidate Melony Spock, 473 votes, Gail Day, 463, elected. A $13.6 million Germantown Central School District Budget passed easily Tuesday with 274 votes for the budget and 171 against. Eric Mortenson, 327; Theresa Repko, 320; Cynthia Smith, 304.

Vote Tuesday in school board races

Voting for school board members and issues takes place Tuesday in both counties. From The Daily Freeman:

Greene County

Cairo-Durham
(Polls are open noon to 9 p.m.)
Cairo-Durham Middle School cafeteria.

Catskill
(Polls are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Catskill High School gymnasium.

Coxsackie-Athens
(Polls are open 1 to 9 p.m.)
District elementary schools.

Hunter-Tannersville
(Polls are open 1 to 9 p.m.)
Hunter Elementary School.

Columbia County

Germantown
(Polls are open noon to 9 p.m.)
Germantown Central School office lobby on Main Street.

Nearly all local school districts planning job cuts

Kyle Wind in The Daily Freeman:

More than 250 jobs will be eliminated in the region if voters approve school district budgets as proposed Tuesday. All the districts in the area with except Hunter-Tannersville, in Greene County, plan to cut faculty and staff members in response to projected reductions in state aid, and, in some districts, declining enrollment.

GREENE COUNTY

Cairo-Durham school officials are planning to cut 7.2 teaching positions — half at the elementary level and half at middle and high schools — along with a psychologist and a teaching assistant. Catskill school officials are planning to cut three teachers — an art teacher, a librarian and a foreign language teacher — as well as a secondary school administrator, an assistant principal at the elementary school and 1.4 support staff positions. The district plans to reduce the assistant director of special education from a 12-month to 10-month position. In Coxsackie-Athens, planned cuts include a kindergarten class, a teacher’s aide, a high school teacher’s aide, a part-time high school Spanish teacher, an elementary special education teacher, high school academic intervention teaching assistants in science, English and the computer lab, a middle school enrichment teacher, an elementary school librarian, a middle school reading teacher, a high school special education teacher, a part-time high school math teacher, a fifth-grade section and a sixth-grade section. Hunter-Tannersville is the only district in the region not planning to cut any positions.

COLUMBIA COUNTY

In Germantown, the district is planning to cut 1.5 high school teachers, an elementary teacher, a teaching assistant, a custodian and a part-time Spanish teacher. Read the entire story in The Daily Freeman.

Hudson school notes

Lynn Sloneker’s Unmuffled keeps the closest eye on the Hudson school system. Several recent items:

From “Rumor Patrol: Rees running?: Board member Patricia Abitabile – re-elected to a second term in 2009 – submitted a letter of resignation from the board, effective June 30, during a closed door session, April 27. Abitabile’s decision to quit was announced to the public in the Saturday edition of the Register-Star. The matter will be discussed at the meeting of the full board 7 p.m., May 10 in the cafeteria of Hudson High School.

From “On the agenda…”: The Claverack building and the former Greenport School were concurrently declared surplus property by the BoE on March 31, 2009, and a proposal to sell the buildings was approved by taxpayers in May 2009. Despite the 2009 voter directive, the board continues to approve funding for the renovation and repair of the Claverack building, as well as for instructional use.

From “Rumor Patrol: Rees running?: Former Hudson City School District Board of Education President Frank Rees may be a last-minute addition to the field of candidates vying for two open board seats in the district’s annual election set for next week….According to several sources, Mrs. Rees was actively soliciting signatures in support of her husband’s candidacy from school faculty and staff last week.

Catskill school candidates meet tonight

Catskill School Board candidates Michael Bulich, Catskill; Carthette Burnett, Catskill; Francesca Daisernia, Leeds; Ronald Frascello, Palenville; Randall Griffin, Leeds; Matthew Leipman, Catskill; Tracy Powell, Palenville; Carol Schilansky, Leeds; Christopher Van Loan, Catskill; and Lisa Warner, Catskill will answer questions at 7 p.m. tonight at Catskill High media center, according to The Daily Mail’s Jim Planck. The ten candidates compete for three three-year terms to the three highest vote-getters, and the fourth place seat is a two-year unexpired term of a seat vacated by resignation. The Catskill School District website says, “The candidate forum will be streamed ‘live’ on the Catskill website.”

Hatala drops out of Hudson school board race

Joshua Hatala

Lynn Sloneker at Unmuffled reports Hudson City School District Board of Education candidate Josh Hatala notified Superintendent John Howe that he was withdrawing his name as a candidate for election to a seat on the Board of Education at the May 18, 2010 Annual Budget and Election Vote. Hatala wrote on his candidate Facebook page, “Due to scheduling conflicts in the fall I will not be able to continue running for school board. I hope to take up the opportunity to run in the next election. I would like to suggest you think about voting for Justin Cuckerstein, a Hudson High School teacher who is losing his job due to budget cuts. He knows the inner workings of the school and truly cares about the kids and community.” Sloneker reports New York State Education Law requires that the deadline for submitting nominating petitions be extended to Tuesday, May 11, 2010 until 5 p.m., due to Hatala’s withdraw. “Official absentee and Election Day ballots will not be finalized until after the nominating petition deadline on May 11, 2010. In the event additional nominating petitions are submitted to the Board of Education Clerk by the deadline, another drawing must be conducted for the candidates’ positions on the ballot. The drawing will be held in the Hudson City School District Central Office on May 11, 2010 at 5:15 p.m. if necessary. Nominating petitions are available from the Clerk of the Board at the District Office at 215 Harry Howard Avenue, Hudson,” Sloneker reports. Carrie Haddad, Cukerstein, Peter Merante, and Mary Daly remain in the May 18 election for two seats.