Dutchess school board, budget election results; See what was approved, who was elected

·4 min read

It’s been a contentious year for some school districts, with some school board meetings erupting into arguments regarding pandemic safety precautions, anti-racism policies and gender education.

But on Tuesday, Dutchess County residents overwhelmingly approved school districts’ spending plans and, largely, approved the people running the districts.

Proposed school budgets for all 13 county districts passed by wide margins, as did all propositions.

And while this year saw contested school board races in 10 of 13 districts, with some candidates backed by organized movements fueled in response to divisive issues, voters largely favored incumbents and less conservative candidates.

While turnout was higher this year — 22,355 votes were cast in the budget proposals, compared to 13,302 last year — the result was remarkably similar: Overall, 69.6% of residents voted in favor of their district’s proposed budget, compared to 69.7% last year.

All budget proposals stayed under the tax cap. Many districts made mental health and safety as the cornerstone of their budget proposals, adding mental health positions and funding contracts with community and private organizations, such as Mental Health Alliance and Astor Family Services.

All voting results are unofficial, and were shared by the school districts themselves.

(Scroll down for propositions and school board results.)

Propositions approved

In addition to budgets, all propositions were also approved. Most districts had propositions to vehicles, make infrastructure improvements or create capital funds.

Beacon, Hyde Park, Pine Plains and Poughkeepsie are all proposed to create capital accounts of varying maximum sizes, which would be funded by transferring fund balance and used for future projects or purchases without the need to include it in future budgets of ballot propositions.

Arlington voters approved a $21.5 million bond in building maintenance at LaGrange Middle School and Overlook Primary School, along with a municipal water connection at LaGrange, and a water filtration system at Traver Road Primary School.

Voters will also approved the purchase of 20 transportation vehicles of various sizes for $1.95 million that will be bonded over five years.

Beacon will spend $546,000 to purchase three buses and three vans.

Dover got the green light on a $100,000 capital project at Dover high and middle schools to install a new air conditioning condenser. A majority of the project will be covered through state aid with $22,600 to be covered by the district.

Hyde Park's $239,972 bus replacement proposition allows the district to purchase three buses and four vans.

In addition to $234,000 in spending for two buses, Pine Plains voters decided to establish a non-voting student school board member, who will attend meetings and executive sessions but not vote.

Red Hook voters approved a $50,000 purchase of transportation vehicles, a $34,000 increase to the Red Hook Library's annual appropriation and a $2,200 increase to the Tivoli Free Library's annual appropriation.

Wappingers’ $20 million capital project got the go-ahead, which includes safety improvements, infrastructure repairs, along with upgrades and renovations to all district schools. Other district propositions included $2.2 million purchase of 22 transportation vehicles and buses; and an extension of a $1.00 lease agreement in which the district leases parking lot property to the Village of Fishkill.

Webutuck voters authorized the purchase of a $170,000 transportation vehicle.

School board results

(Winners highlighted, incumbents italicized)

Arlington: Jonathan D'Agostino, Ronald Edick, Marion Quinn, Vaughn Feighan, Cris Hanganu, Kelly Cahill Chanski, Mark Tornatore.

Beacon: Alena Kush, Meredith Heuer, Antony Tseng, Yunice Heath.

Dover: Russel Infantino, Stacie Woodard, Patricia Hammond, Suzanne Calligan-Courtien, Tami Burns.

Hyde Park: Denise Biery, Edward Spence, Michael Greene, Michael Zagorski, Christine Pemberton.

Millbrook: Perry Hartswick, Jennifer Carnecchia, Dena Ghobashy.

Pawling: Jennifer Walsh, Edward Grippe, Zack Graczyk, Violet Paljevic, Jade McSpedon, Harvey Matcovsky, Sandro Ore, Guido Garbarino, Theresa Johnson, Dmitry Khorosh, Jeffrey Asher.

Pine Plains: Amie Fredericks, Fred Crouse Jr., R. Scott Cavey.

Poughkeepsie: Andrew Rieser, Bob Creedon, Diamond Mima, Maurice Bunn, Gregory Melton.

Red Hook: Kelly Borrelle, Fernando Dongo, Kevin Storrs.

Rhinebeck: Steve Jenkins, Mary-Kay Lombino, Dov Frankel, Juliet Gorman.

Spackenkill: Richard Horvath, Catrina Rocco, Michele Pitcairn Williams.

Wappingers: Cheryl Migatz, Virgil Capollari, Ariana Dingman, Keri Cahill, Marie Johnson, Daniel Pena, Anthony Ciro DiLullo, Eddy Sloshower.

Webutuck: Nichole Reyes, Anthony Robustelli.

This article originally appeared on Poughkeepsie Journal: Dutchess school budget, board vote results