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Mamaroneck School Budget Passes By Wide Margin

This story was updated at 10 a.m. to correct an error.

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Voters in Mamaroneck strongly supported the school board’s proposed budgets and passed it by a 79 percent margin, according to unofficial results.

The $124,295,897 budget was approved by an unofficial tally of 1,832 voters, with 432 opposing. The $9.5 million bond that was up for vote passed by a 77 percent margin, according to an email from the Mamaroneck School District.

The 2012-2013 budget stayed within the 2 percent tax cap and is a $1 million reduction from last year’s budget. Annual property taxes are expected to increase by about $372.

"This year, with our Citizens Financial Advisory Committee, I believe the community was more involved than ever before in the budget development process," said Robert Shaps, superintendent of schools, in a statement. "With the ongoing fiscal turbulence anticipated ahead, I feel strongly that community engagement will be critical.  I urge you to continue to stay involved and take an interest."

Mamaroneck also held its first contested school board election since 2006 on Tuesday. Voters elected the three school board candidates who were nominated by the selection committee. School board President Robin Nichinsky stayed in her seat with 1,493 votes, according to unofficial results. The unofficial tallies show that Melany Gray and Roger Martin received 1,708 and 1,491 votes, respectively, and Victor Gatti received 762 votes.

Nichinsky was the only incumbent of the four candidates who ran. She, Gray and Martin were nominated by the selection committee, while Gatti ran independently and announced his intention to run just weeks before the election.

The main point of contention with the proposed budget among residents was the district’s plan to outsource all school district transportation to Ardsley Bus Company. The district originally wanted to move to public transportation for students in grades six through 12 at private and parochial schools, but district Superintendent Robert Shaps sent a letter on March 29 that said such a move would not be included in the 2012-2013 budget.

One parent, Margaret Kaufer, told the school board in March that she would form a coalition to vote down the budget.

In April, the board found an additional $1,039,255 in cuts. Full outsourcing led to $819,225 worth of those cuts.

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