The Greenburgh Board of Education will seek a revote on its defeated $57.4 million budget.
By a vote of 4 to 1, trustees Thursday night approved a motion to place the budget back on the ballot without changes, just two days after voters rejected it by a vote of 403 to 398. Residents will vote again on June 21.
Trustees David Warner, Terry Williams, Charles Bronz and Monique Haygood-Massey, board vice president, voted “yes” on the motion to seek a revote. Board president Lloyd Newland voted “no,” urging trustees to reduce the budget before putting it back on the ballot. Trustees Cora Carey and Stephanie Bellino were absent.
Newland said the district risked a backlash from voters by not reducing the budget. But most trustees believe the budget failed because of low voter turnout, not concerns over taxes or spending.
The proposed budget for 2011-12 would establish an estimated tax rate of $435.77 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 5.8 percent increase, while the tax levy —the total amount of property taxes collected — would rise by 3.9 percent to $51.3 million.
“I respect the wishes of the people who want to see some reductions,” Newland said, explaining his “no” vote. “But I felt it was a good budget we put out there.”
Many residents did not agree.
“These taxes are too high,” said Elizabeth Pulliam, who has lived in
Greenburgh for about 80 years and voted “no” on the budget. “We have the highest taxes in the country.”
At the meeting, trustees discussed ways to better inform the public about the budget and the consequences of the district having to adopt a contingency budget.
By law, if the budget is defeated a second time, the district must adopt a contingency budget of $57.3 million. Officials said the reduced budget would:
• halt transportation for all after school and extracurricular activities.
• stop renovation of the Woodlands Library and upgrades to the district-wide telephone system
• eliminate $101,000 in equipment purchases.
• require all outside organizations to pay an unspecified fee to use any district building or field
A board work session is scheduled for
June 2 May 31 with a regular meeting on June 7.