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F-M voters approve $80.7 million budget; elect three board members

This is a pie chart with the words School Budget across it.

On May 16, Fayetteville-Manlius School District voters approved the district’s $80.7 million 2017-18 budget proposal, elected three board of education members and approved three other district-related propositions.

The following results do not include 70 absentee ballots; however, they will not change the outcome of the budget vote, propositions or board election.

District-related Propositions

  • An $80,728,938 budget for the 2017-18 school year that increases spending 1.39 percent ($1,109,197) and carries a 1.96 percent tax levy increase: 1,942 yes; 775 no
  • Purchasing five new school buses at a total cost not to exceed $639,081: 2,009 yes; 698 no
  • Creating a new $10 million capital reserve fund: 1,987 yes; 703 no
  • Authorizing the district to spend $817,467 of previously voter authorized unexpended capital project funds at Fayetteville Elementary School: 2,128 yes; 578 no

Library Propositions

  • Supporting the Manlius Library, $1,299,356: 1,721 yes; 986 no
  • Supporting the Fayetteville Free Library, $1,862,207: 1,091 yes; 1,600 no

The libraries are separate legal entities from the school district, with their own funding and budget. The amount of the tax levy collected by a school district for a library remains the same each year until the library requests a proposition to change that amount.New York state education law allows libraries to place a funding proposition on school district ballots and requires school districts, at the libraries’ requests, to levy and collect taxes for libraries.

Board of Education Election

Five candidates sought election to three open board of education seats. They are:

  • Stewart L. Weisman: 814 votes;
  • Timothy Crisafulli: 1,454 votes;
  • Daniel Seidberg: 1,194 votes;
  • Kelly Fumarola: 1,769 votes;
  • Rebecca Cohen: 1,574 votes.

The terms are three years, beginning July 1, and will be filled by the candidates with the three highest vote totals: Kelly Fumarola, Rebecca Cohen and Timothy Crisafulli.

“We appreciate our residents taking time out of their busy days to head to the polls and vote,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “Our goal each year is to strike a balance between maintaining quality programs while being mindful of the budget’s financial impact on taxpayers. We believe this budget meets the most pressing needs of our students and does so with a tax levy increase below two percent.”

The 2017-18 tax levy increase of 1.96 percent is below the district’s calculated tax levy limit of 1.97 percent, per the state’s property tax levy cap law. The limit does not cap how much a district can raise through property taxes. Instead, it determines at what level a school district must have a supermajority (60 percent) rather than a simple majority (50 percent plus one) approve the budget proposal.

Because F-M proposed a budget with a tax levy increase lower than its allowable limit, the budget required a simple majority vote for authorization.

More information about the budget and propositions are available at www.fmschools.org/budget.

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