New Paltz school budget passes; Greenfield loses seat, two newcomers join board

Thompson, Greenfield and Preston

When the polls closed on Tuesday, May 16, New Paltz Central School District voters supported the proposed $59 million budget that comes with a 2.3 percent tax levy for the 2017-18 school year. There were 2,228 votes cast, out of which 1,561 votes were for the budget with just 667 opposed. The budget passed with a 70 percent approval rate, which satisfied the required 60 percent voter approval required this year due to the budget not coming in under the tax cap.

(The “two percent tax cap” required by the state to pass a budget with a simple majority of 50-percent-plus-one is not actually a two-percent cap, but dependent upon a formula that calculates in factors that include the Consumer Price Index (CPI). For the district’s budget to come in under the tax cap would have required a budget with a 1.2 percent total tax levy this year, which was ruled out by School Board members because of the reductions it would have made to the educational program.)

Two candidates were also approved to fill trustee seats on the Board of Education. Incumbent Steve Greenfield received 1,038 votes, losing his seat to newcomers Kathy Preston, who garnered 1,478 votes, and Teresa Thompson, who received 1,215 votes. Both seats carry three-year terms that begin July 1.