WEST VALLEY—After failing the first time around, the West Valley Central School Board of Education decided to revote the 2018-19 budget and proposition to purchase a new school bus at a May 21 special meeting.
With the original 2018-19 WVCS budget being rejected 181-152 and the bus proposition rejected 168-164, the board had to make a decision whether to put both back up to vote again or to adopt a contingency budget. The board voted 4-1 to go with the revote, on June 19. Board members Steve Kowalski, Kimberly Cizdziel, Mike Harmony and Teaseleman Jackson-McCarty voted for the revote, Timothy Ploetz voted against.
Before voting, the board held a discussion regarding their thoughts on both options and how they thought the board should move forward.
“Last time when [the budget] was voted down we had a lot of outcry from the community so I am voting to put it back up,” Jackson-McCarty said.
Should the budget be voted down again, the district would be forced to go with a contingency budget, which would not have an increase in the tax levy and would restrict the district on some of the expenses in the 2018-19 school year, including use of the building by outside groups, equipment purchases and more.
“We worked on this budget and put it out there as the best budget that we, along with our administration, felt was the best for this district and what was best for the community,” Kowalski said.
The district would not be able to purchase a bus for the 2018-19 school year, if the proposition is rejected by voters a second time, WVCS District Business Official Ann O’Brien said. Board of Education members showed their displeasure for the bus being voted down at the meeting and hope it passes this time around.
“It never ever makes any sense to me when a bus is voted down because of what we end up paying out of pocket for a bus,” Kowalski said. “There is nobody in this world that wouldn’t wish to get a $52,000 or $53,000 vehicle for $7,000 out of pocket with the rest being picked up by the state.”
As WVCS prepares for the revote, the district must follow similar guidelines to when the original budget was proposed. In the coming weeks, the district must publish the budget vote in legal notices, set a new date for voter registration and host a budget hearing. The estimated cost for the district to host the revote is roughly $2,000.
The WVCS Board of Education will host the budget hearing on Monday, June 11 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium, followed by the regular board of education meeting.