ITHACA, NY – On May 17, Tompkins residents will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred candidates in each school district’s Board of Education elections, as well as voting on the school’s budget and other proposals.

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All residents of a school district — not just property owners — are eligible to vote in these elections as long as they are US citizens of 18 years of age who have lived in that district for at least 30 days prior to the vote.

Here’s a breakdown of the key information for each district:

Ithaca City School District

There are four vacancies on the ICSD school board, but only three candidates, all of whom are incumbents.

The candidates include longstanding members President Robert Ainslie and Bradley Grainger, who was recently honored with the School Board Members of Achievement award, as well as newcomer Eldred V. Harris JD, who was appointed in November 2015 when former member Judy Maxwell resigned.

There are three other propositions on the ballot:

1 – Authorization for the 2016-2017 budget for the amount of $119,088,829. This figure represents an increase of 3.54 percent in spending over the previous year. This is a 2.10 percent increase in the tax levy, while the school estimates the tax rate will drop by 0.35 percent.

The school estimates a tax bill increase of about $9.66 for a home worth $100,000, an increase of $23.46 for a home worth $200,000 and a $37.26 increase for a home worth $300,000.

You can visit their budget page for a detailed look at ICSD’s budget proposal.

2 – Authorization of up to $1.15 million for new bus purchases and rust proofing, as well as railing and concrete repair for Ithaca High School, stairway replacement for Lehman Alternative Community School and drainage improvements at Cayuga Heights Elementary.

3 – Authorization for the Enfield Community Council to rent 4.2 acres of vacant and unimproved land near the Enfield Elementary School for use as a community center at a cost of $1 yearly for 30 years.

Polling for ICSD are as follows:: Belle Sherman Annex, 75 Cornell St.; Beverly J. Martin School, 302 W. Buffalo St.; Caroline School, 2439 Slaterville Road; Cayuga Heights School, 110 East Upland Road; Danby Fire Hall, 1780 Danby Road; Enfield School, 20 Enfield Main Road; Fall Creek School, 202 King St.; Franziska Racker Centers, 3226 Wilkins Road; Lehman Alternative School, 111 Chestnut St.; Northeast School, 425 Winthrop Drive; South Hill School, 520 Hudson St.; Varna Community Center, 943 Dryden Road.

Polling hours are 12 p.m. noon to 9 p.m.

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Dryden Central School District

There are three vacancies on the the Dryden School Board and seven candidates. This particularly competitive election seems to be a response to criticisms of Dryden Central School District’s administration over their controversial handling of former music teacher Krista Easton as well as the district’s falling short on some state performance standards.

Paul Lutwak and Anderson “Andy” Young are the two incumbent candidates. The other candidates include Therese “Teri” Tarshus, Dennis Prentice, Margaret “Margie” Malepe, Rhonda Kowalski, and Beverly “Bev” Dodici . You can view the candidate’s statements to learn more about them.

There are four other propositions on the ballot:

1 – Authorization of the 2016-2017 budget for the amount of $37,850,148. This figure represents a decrease of 0.34 percent from last year’s budget. This will result in a 1.165 percent increase in the tax levy.

2 – Authorization of up to $380,000 to purchase school buses and other transportation vehicles, with the money being raised by a tax collectible in annual installments with district obligations.

3 – Authorization of up to $100,000 to replace a limited area of roofing at the Dryden Elementary School, with up to $20,000 of that being pulled from existing building capital reserve fund and the rest funded by state aid.

4 – A resolution to establish a Vehicle and Equipment Capital Reserve Fund with a $5 million cap, to be filled over a 10-year period, which would be used to finance school buses and other transportation vehicles.

The polling place is the  Dryden middle/high school auditorium, 118 Freeville Road.

Polling hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Groton Central School District

There are two vacancies on the Groton School Board, and only two candidates, both incumbents: Linda Competillo and Jean Wannall.

The 2016-2017 budget is the only proposition on the ballot. The district’s proposed budget is $19,077,883, a 0.09 percent increase over the previous year with no increase in the tax levy.

The polling place is the Groton Central School District Office, 400 Peru Road.

Polling hours are from 12 p.m. noon to 9 p.m.

Lansing Central School District

There are three vacancies on the Lansing School Board, and three candidates, one of which is incumbent and president Christine Lacobucci. The other two candidates are Dr. Susan Tabrizi and Aaron Thompson, a Tompkins County Sheriff’s Deputy. Check the Lansing Star’s coverage for more details about the candidates.

There are three propositions on the ballot:

1 – Authorization of the 2016-2017 budget for the amount of $28,047,000. This is a decrease from the previous year’s budget by 1.14 percent, but the tax levy will increase by 3.74 percent.

2 – Authorization of up to $300,000 for two 70 passenger school buses and two passenger vans.

3 – Authorization of up to establish a capital reserve fund of up to $7,000,000 to be used for construction costs.

The polling place is R.C. Buckley Elementary School Teacher Center, 284 Ridge Road.

Polling hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Newfield Central School District

There are three vacancies on the Newfield School Board, and four candidates competing for them. Candidates include two incumbents: Jennifer Pawlewicz and Melissa “Missy” Rynone, and two challengers: James Grochocinski and Rodney Heffron, who previously served on the board from 1986-1991.

There are four propositions on the ballot:

1 – Authorization of the 2016-2017 budget for the amount of $18,393,959. This is an increase of 0.19 percent over the previous year’s budget, with a tax levy increase of 1.65 percent.

2 – Authorization of up to $280,000 to purchase up to two 66-passenger buses and one passenger van. Funds will be pulled from the existing transportation capital reserve fund.

3 – Authorization for the district to borrow up to $18.8 million for renovations and improvements to facilities including replacing HVAC systems, windows, playground surfaces and roofing, improving sports fields and track,and renovating the high school auditorium, among other things. According to the Budget Brochure provided by the school, most of the project will be reimbursed by the state and there will be no impact on the taxpayer for several years.

4 – Authorize up to $100,000 from an existing capital reserve account for a “net zero” energy project which will ultimately pay for itself by saving the district money on energy costs.

The polling place is the Newfield Elementary School building, lower gym, 247 Main St.

Polling hours are from 12 p.m. noon to 9 p.m.

Trumansburg Central School District

There are three vacancies on the Trumansburg School Board, and four candidates seeking the seats, including two incumbets. Jane Gallagher, the current president, and Gary Astles are the two incumbents, while Patrick Masters and Sarah Vakkas are the challengers.

There are two propositions on the ballot:

1 – Authorization of the 2016-2017 budget for the amount of $24,821,750. This is a spending cut of 4.6 percent from the previous year, while the tax levy will increase by 1.32 percent.

2 – Authorization of up to $220,000 from the vehicle and equipment reserve fund to purchase two full-sized school buses.

The polling place is the Ulysses Historical Society, 39 South St.

Polling hours are from 12 p.m. noon to 9 p.m.

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.