Residents of the Cortlandt area came out to Frank G. Lindsey Elementary School on Tuesday to vote on the Hendrick Hudson School District's budget for 2012-2013.
Several voters said they were voting to approve the budget because it is the best thing for the children. A couple of voters at the polls around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday said found the budget confusing and are happy that the district will have a new Superintendent now that Dr. Daniel McCann is retiring.
If approved, the budget of $70 million would raise taxes by 1.72 percent for Cortlandt residents, and would decrease taxes by about 1.66 percent for Peekskill residents.
A $420,000 Cortlandt home, assessed at about $7,700, for example, would face a $106 increase in school taxes for 2012-2013. But in Peekskill, where a $220,000 house would have the same $7,700 assessed value, the homeowner would pay $73 less in school taxes in the coming year.
Around 3:30 p.m. today, about 550 people had voted and parents and students were slowing trickling into the FGL gym to cast their votes. A total of 570 voters had cast their ballots by the same time last year and by 9 p.m. during last year's budget vote. A total of 1398 voters cast their ballots last year.
The school district also set up a student voting ballot box for kids to vote on what they would want for a special school lunch.
“I am a teacher and I strongly believe in supporting the budget. But I do not want to see anyone cut,” said Blue Mountain Middle School teacher Donna Paolucci at the polls. Paolucci was glad to hear of the tentative agreement the school district reached with the teacher's union last night, but said she does not want to see anyone cut. "I was relieved about the agreement and hope it will prevent more cuts."
Parents of future students were also supportive of the budget.
"I voted yes because she is going to be the future of this school district," said Anne Scally, mother of daughter Gianna, who is two years old. Scally's mother Bernadette agreed.
"I think things they proposed are reasonable and need to be done," she said.
Other Hen hud residents said they are looking forward to the district hiring a replacement for Dr. Daniel McCann once he retires this year.
"Well, they are going to get the budget," said Betty McNally, a 57-year resident of the district. "But they need to get rid of McCann."
McNally said she thinks the district needs to hire someone who is "more sensible."
A younger voter who said she found the budget to be confusing agreed. "I look forward to seeing a new superintendent," the voter, Tammy Booth said.
The polls at Frank G. Lindsey are located in the gym and will be open until 9 p.m. Tuesday night. Park in the back near the gym.
What are your thoughts on the budget? What's your biggest concern?