Bedford school district residents approved the 2011-12 school budget by margin of more than two to one Tuesday, with 1,861 people voting for the proposal and just 766 voting against it.
The $118,980,000 spending plan represents a 2.15 percent increase from this year’s budget. It also means that district officials have cleared the first hurdle in their long-term plan.
“We’re thinking of the budget as a two-year strategy and we’ve already begun anticipating the 2012-2013 budget process, because we know there are unanswered questions out there in Albany and Washington and at the same time, we have some good ideas that we are researching right now. We want to keep our focus on what’s going well, which means there will be some tough choices in the future.”
Those tough choices, which have been discussed in the past, include the possible elimination of field trips, modified athletics and after-school activities.
In the meantime, Hochman expressed his relief that the community showed overwhelming support for next year’s budget.
“I think this all about planning and communication,” Hochman said. “We have made a concerted effort to make sure our planning is as transparent as can be and that the communication is two-way year-round, not just at budget time. I think that shows in these results.
The tax levy will increase by 1.8 percent. For the tax rates, Mount Kisco will see an increase of 11.2 percent; a decrease of 3.01 percent in Bedford; an increase of 2.86 in Pound Ridge; an increase of 7.25 percent in New Castle and an increase of 3.4 percent in North Castle.
Incumbent school board member Eric Karle, who ran unopposed, got 1,509 votes.
“I’m happy that the budget passed,” Chernis said. “As Dr. Hochman said, the process that the district put in place over the past two years to make sure that the community is well involved in developing the budget and that the administration is completely transparent has helped get budgets passed here and preserve programs that we want to preserve…in terms of winning the election,I look forward to serving the community for three more years.”
Karle said he looked forward to serving his next three-year term.
“It’s going to be some tough sledding, but it’s nice to know that we have three board members that have a good deal of experience plus the four board members who have a fresh set of new eyes,” Karle said.
Bedford Schools 2011 Vote by the Numbers
$118 million budget proposal
School Board Race
School Board Candidates
By election district (based on elementary schools):
Bedford Village ES
Bedford Hills ES
Mount Kisco ES
Pound Ridge ES
West Patent ES