Voters approve school budgets

Published May 17, 2017 at 4:10pm

Although “you’re not going to please everybody,” approval of the Rome school district’s 2017-18 budget by 78 percent of district residents who voted is “pretty impressive,” said Board of Education President Paul Fitzpatrick.

Regarding the resounding approval Tuesday of the $115.3 million budget, Fitzpatrick said “people recognize this was a very positive budget for the district and taxpayers.”

Voters across the region — from Adirondack to Oneida — also approved their district’s spending plans. The Rome City School District’s spending plan includes no increase in the local property tax levy which is the overall amount collected in taxes, although specific tax rates differ by municipalities depending on how property is assessed.

The budget also maintains district educational programs; Fitzpatrick said the only major change involves eliminating a tutorial center for suspended students who instead are to be served through another separate after-school tutoring program that includes other students.

In addition to the budget, the results included electing three candidates on the ballot to three available seats on the Board of Education, each for
three-year terms beginning July 1. They include incumbent John Leonard, plus Stephen Hampe and Joseph Mellace. Incumbents Louis Daniello and Jacqueline Favata did not seek re-election.

The budget approval is “great for our kids....I’m glad the community supported our kids,” said district Superintendent Peter C. Blake. The zero percent increase in the local property tax levy “absolutely” made a difference in the overwhelming budget approval, he added.