NIAGARA FALLS – Several school boards across Niagara County will see some new faces, while voters approved all proposed budgets in Tuesday’s voting.
In the school board contest in the Niagara Wheatfield School District, Darren Sneed, Gina Terbot and incumbent Christopher Peters picked up three-year terms as the top vote-getters in a six-way race, according to unofficial results. Incumbent Richard Halleen was knocked off the board.
Voters also approved a $64.6 million budget, which will mean the third straight year taxes will increase by more than 4 percent. The spending plan, approved with about 63 percent of the vote, calls for $1.45 million in cuts, including six elementary teachers, 2.6 music positions and other staff cuts.
Voters in Niagara Falls picked the incumbents, Nicholas S.J. Vilardo and Arthur L. Jocoy Jr., who ran as a team. Jocoy, who owns Jocoy’s Collision on Packard Road, won his second term. Vilardo, a retired battalion chief for the Niagara Falls Fire Department, won his third. The other candidates running were Ken Hamilton, Angela J. Bray, Steven P. DiNieri and Thomas R. Vitello Sr.
Niagara Falls voters also approved a $126.4 million budget that carries a steady tax levy of $25.8 million and a tentative drop in the tax rate of one penny, or about .05 percent. Had the district proposed any increase to the tax levy, more than 60 percent of voters would have had to approve the spending plan, as opposed to the simple majority required in this case.
City taxpayers may face more serious financial pressures in a year, since the spending plan approved Tuesday uses about $2.7 million in “one-time” revenues that will be unavailable next year to balance the budget.
In the North Tonawanda School District, Ann Finkle and Barbara McCarthy won School Board seats in a four-way race, according to unofficial results. Because incumbent Donna Braun left the board to take a position on the Common Council, Finkle will take Braun’s seat and McCarthy will begin her term on July 1. Frank DiBernardo, the other incumbent, did not run for re-election. Voters also approved a $68 million budget.
Voters in Lewiston-Porter approved a $41.2 million budget that increases the tax levy 4.4 percent, according to unofficial results.
Incumbent Keith Fox and Lance Dickinson ran unopposed for two School Board seats.
In Wilson, Frank Cipolla, Patricia Munnikhuysen and incumbent George Waters won a five-way race for the board. Incumbent Donald DeLisi was not re-elected.
In Starpoint, Jeffrey Duncan and incumbents Brett Lombardo and Joseph Miller won seats in a six-way race.
In Lockport, voters approved an $86.3 million budget that raised the property tax levy up to the 2.26 percent maximum allowed by the tax cap.
News Niagara Reporters Nancy A. Fischer and Thomas J. Prohaska contributed to this report. email: firstname.lastname@example.org