May 15, 2012 – Stillwater Central School District residents voted by a margin of 480 "yes" votes to 373 "no" votes to defeat the $21,241,738 proposed budget for the 2012-13 school year—a passage rate of 56 percent. Under New York’s new tax levy cap law, the proposed tax levy increase of 3.08 percent is above Stillwater’s calculated tax levy limit, which means that the approval of at least 60 percent of voters was required for budget passage.
The proposed budget would have decreased spending by 0.31 percent over the current year's budget.
"Although a majority of voters supported this budget proposal, we did not reach the 60 percent approval threshold required by the state's new tax levy cap law," Superintendent Dr. Stanley Maziejka said.
When a proposed school budget is defeated at the polls, state law gives the school board three options. Board members may decide to put the same budget up for vote a second time, put a revised budget up for vote, or go directly to a contingent budget.
The Stillwater Board of Education will meet at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, May 22, in the middle school cafeteria to discuss next steps.
By a margin of 483 to 386, voters passed a proposition to establish a capital reserve fund of $100,000 to make upgrades to the High School Distance Learning Lab. By a margin of 490 to 367, voters passed an additional proposition to expend the monies in the capital reserve fund of $100,000 to make upgrades to the High School Distance Learning Lab. Both propositions required a simple majority (50 percent +1) for passage.
Nearly 84 percent of the money spent on the project will be reimbursed to the district in the form of state aid. This reserve fund will increase the tax rate by $0.13.
Two candidates—Jay Peacock and Timothy Hems—submitted petitions to run for three available seats on the school board. Peacock received 512 votes and Hems received 498 votes.
The write-in candidate elected to the third open seat was Eunice Marshall, who received 156 votes.
All candidates will serve three-year terms, beginning July 1, 2012
and ending June 30, 2015.