F-M voters approve $82.9 million budget; elect three board members

On May 15, Fayetteville-Manlius School District voters approved the district’s $82.9 million 2018-19 budget proposal, elected three board of education members and approved two other district-related propositions.

The following results include 53 absentee ballots.

District-related propositions

  • An $82,898,692 budget for the 2018-19 school year that increases spending 2.69 percent ($2,169,754) and carries a 3.67 percent tax levy increase and an estimated tax rate increase of 1.90 percent: 1,192 yes; 458 no
  • Purchasing five new school buses at a total cost not to exceed $639,005: 1,221 yes; 426 no
  • Retaining a student board member: 1,335 yes; 218 no

Library propositions

  • Supporting the Manlius Library, $1,325,343: 1,222 yes; 422 no
  • Supporting the Fayetteville Free Library, $1,824,396: 1,040 yes; 602 no

New York state education law allows libraries to place a funding proposition on school district ballots and requires school districts, at the libraries’ requests, to levy and collect taxes for libraries.

The libraries are separate legal entities from the school district, with their own funding and budget. The amount of the tax levy collected by a school district for a library remains the same each year until the library requests a proposition to change that amount.

Board of education election

Three candidates sought election to three open board of education seats. They are:

  • Daniel Seidberg: 1,254 votes;
  • Marissa Joy Mims: 1,162 votes; and
  • Sharon Lindars: 1,155 votes.

The terms are three years, beginning July 1, and will be filled by the candidates with the three highest vote totals: Daniel Seidberg, Marissa Joy Mims and Sharon Lindars. There were a total of 101 write-in votes for the open board member seats that did not affect the results.

“We appreciate our residents taking time out of their busy days to head to the polls and vote,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “While developing the budget, we seek to strike a balance between maintaining quality programs and being mindful of the budget’s financial impact on taxpayers. We believe this budget meets the most pressing needs of our students and maintains our current level of programs and services with a tax levy increase below the district’s tax levy limit.”

The 2018-19 budget is estimated to carry a tax rate increase of 1.90 percent. The tax levy increase of 3.67 percent is below the district’s calculated tax levy limit of 3.83 percent, per the state’s property tax levy cap law. The limit does not cap how much a district can raise through property taxes. Instead, it determines at what level a school district must have a supermajority (60 percent) rather than a simple majority (50 percent plus one) approve the budget proposal.

Because F-M proposed a budget with a tax levy increase lower than its allowable limit, the budget required a simple majority vote for authorization.