Saturday, May 12, 2012

Albany School, Library Budget Votes, plus Library Trustee Election May 15

Albany city residents go to the polls Tuesday, May 15, to vote on the City School District of Albany budget, the Albany Public Library 2013 levy, and to choose three new members for the library Board of Trustees. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Your voting location may have changed this year due to New York’s congressional redistricting plan. While the school district will have the same 18 voting locations as in the past, your location may have been moved to another ward or district. Follow this link (PDF) to find your voting location. If you have additional questions, you can contact Clerk of the Board Catherine Cutting at 475-6010.

The City School District of Albany has proposed a $207.7 million budget for the 2012-13 school year that carries a 1.5 percent tax-levy increase and would eliminate nearly 75 full- and part-time jobs. The proposed increase is less than half of the district’s limit (3.05 percent) under the state’s new tax-cap formula. It follows a year in which the board froze the tax levy (zero increase for 2011-12), a move made possible when teachers accepted a pay freeze for the current year. There will be numerous opportunities for community members to learn more about the 2012-13 budget proposal in advance of the vote; see HERE. The Sale of Schuyler and Sunshine buildings are also on ballot; see HERE.

The proposed 2013 library levy of $6,434,764 reflects a 2.6 percent increase, which falls within the property tax cap formula as directed by the NYS Comptroller. If approved by voters, this increase would mean that the owner of a $150,000 home would pay approximately $5.62 more per year for the library, or 11 cents a week.

Also on the ballot May 15 is the election of three members of the library’s Board of Trustees. Four candidates are running for three seats on the library board, all of which carry full five-year terms. The candidates, listed in ballot order, are: Arlene Way of Second Street, Daniel Curtis of Spring Street, Vince Quackenbush of Stanwix Street, and Mary-Ellen Piché of Elm Street. The open seats are currently held by Dennis Gaffney, Mary Ellen O’Connor, and Leonard Ricchiuti, all of whom are leaving the board when their terms conclude on June 30.

The public is invited to a budget presentation and candidate forum at the Main Library on Wednesday, May 9, at 6 p.m. Library leaders will present the proposed 2013 budget, and the trustee candidates will speak to the public.

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