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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 19, 2012

Straut and Windsor challenge incumbent Blow for two VCSD board seats
By Anne Hayden

VOORHEESVILLE — Incumbent Timothy Blow will be challenged by two newcomers — Diana Straut and Jason Windsor — in a three-way race for two seats on the Voorheesville School Board.

Lisa Henkel, who served one term, is not seeking re-election.

The top two vote-getters will each win a four-year term on the seven-member board. The posts are unpaid.

The school board establishes the policies under which the school district is operated.

Voorheesville, like districts across the state, is faced with a tax-levy cap, stagnant state aid, and increased health and pension costs.

The $21.8 million budget, adopted by the board early this month, poses a tax levy of $15.5 million; the board made $600,000 in cuts to stay under the state set tax levy cap of 2.43 percent.

The proposed budget would raise property taxes of New Scotland residents by 2.9 percent.

All three school board candidates support the budget proposition.

The Enterprise
asked the candidates to comment on these four issues:

Role of a school board member: Candidates were asked who they serve, and why they want to be a school board member.

Budget: Candidates were asked if they support the $21.8 million budget, and why or why not.

Tax hike: A tax-levy cap is new this year. If a school district goes over the state-set cap, 60 percent of the public vote is needed to adopt the spending plan. Candidates were asked if programs and jobs should continue to be cut next year to keep the tax-levy increase below 2 percent or would constituents be willing to pay more to preserve Voorheesville’s programming.

Full-day kindergarten: The current board voted to accept $188,644 in state aid to convert to full-day kindergarten. The added cost of full-day kindergarten, after transition aid, will be about $75,000 by the fifth year for a full-time teacher with benefits. Candidates were asked if they support full-day kindergarten conversion, and why or why not.

Candidate Profiles:

Timothy Blow

Diana Straut

Jason Windsor

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