School budgets easily passed in the region, but results were still not in late Tuesday night on Fort Edward's bid to override the tax cap.
Counting had not been completed as it neared midnight.
All school district budgets passed including the large districts of Glens Falls, Queensbury and Hudson Falls, but South Glens Falls school officials said they were suspending counting on Tuesday night and would resume at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday.
Turnout was high as the election was conducted entirely through absentee ballot because of the coronavirus pandemic.
For example, Hudson Falls sent out 7,800 ballots and got 1,749 ballots back — about four times as many people who voted on the budget in 2019. It took two hours for a group of people to count them all. Some were opening the envelopes while others were doing the tallies, to make it as efficient as possible.
“Most years it’s around 400 (voters), but you know, we made it easy. We sent the ballots to their house,” said Superintendent Linda Goewey.
All eyes were on Fort Edward to see if district voters would pass the budget, which proposed a nearly 20% increase in the tax levy.
The district has seen major problems with the loss of tax revenue from the former Hudson River dewatering plant. The owner of the property defaulted on the taxes and the county made the school district whole. Now, Fort Edward has to pay $1.7 million back and it took out a bond because it did not have the funds.
There were not many contested school board races in the region.
In Lake George, incumbent Tom Seguljic lost his bid for re-election. Newcomers Rosemarie Earl and Jeannine Bieber received 1,174 and 977 votes, respectively, to win two three-year seats.
Seguljic got 704 votes and Jay Salmon received 480.
Bieber and Earl are backed by the Lake George United for Education group. Members of that group have an active lawsuit against the district over elimination of the junior-senior high school vice principal position two years ago.
Now, most of the board is made up of candidates who were endorsed or affiliated with that group, including President Tricia Connor Biles and Katie Bruening, Maryanne MacKenzie and Melissa Seale.
In Whitehall, incumbents Thomas Baker, Richard LaChapelle and Patricia Norton won new three-year terms and will be joined by former Whitehall Town Supervisor George Armstrong.
North Warren voters re-elected incumbents Mike Erickson, John Maday and Cortney Swan. Newcomer Lindsay Swan finished with 610 votes — 20 votes behind Cortney Swan, who had 630.
In Salem, Anne Dunigan won re-election for another term. There was no declared candidate for a second seat. Dan Snyder won the seat with three write-in votes, edging out Gina Beagle with two.
Three people were running for two four-year seats and a one-year seat in Warrensburg. Incumbent Doug West and former board member Elaine Cowin won the full four-year seats and Laurie Rinke will complete the final year of Rob Frasier’s term.
In Fort Edward, incumbent Vice President Michael Glass and Daniel Shiels, Christina Durkee and Elaine Trackey-Saltsman were running for a five-year seat and a one-year seat.
The future of the district was a hot topic during the campaign. The Board of Education voted in March to do a full merger study with the South Glens Falls Central School District.
Glass voted in favor of that study and Trackey-Saltsman said in a candidate forum she supported it. Shiels and Durkee said they were opposed to the study and wanted Fort Edward to remain its own district.
The issue is emotionally charged in town, with lawn signs stating: “Save Fort Edward School.”
School Election 2020 Results
|District||Budget||For||Against||Ballot Propositions||For||Against||School Board||Votes|
|Abraham Wing||$4.965 million||161||23|
|Argyle||$13.306 million||612||155||Argyle Free library budget||548||218|
|Bolton||$9.757 million||432||186||Jesse Foy||548|
|Cambridge||$22.285 million||950||462||Technology infrastructure project||1,023||393|
|Lease 70-passenger buses||905||501|
|Lease other buses||894||515|
|Cambridge Library budget||1058||364|
|Corinth||$22.272 million||848||373||Purchase school buses||770||443|
|Corinth Free Library budget||861||345|
|Fort Ann||$12.346 million||196||48||Purchase school buses||193||51|
|Fort Edward**||$11.833 million||431||386||Purchase school vehicles||445||368||Christina Durkee*||502|
|Michael Glass (i)||250|
|Glens Falls||$46.505 million||2,223||483||Lease school buses||1,439||310|
|Greenwich||$21.976 million||460||102||Buy school buses and vehicles||412||150|
|Hadley-Luzerne||$21.459 million||948||288||Purchase school buses||905||332|
|Hartford||$13.405 million||382||122||Purchase school vehicles||341||161|
|Hudson Falls||$44.693 million||1,460||289||Purchase school buses||1,312||44|
|Indian Lake||$6.979 million||219||51||Purchase school buses||222||49|
|Lake George||$23.91 million||1,302||561||Purchase school buses||1,277||576||Jeannine Bieber*||977|
|Tom Seguljic (i)||704|
|Long Lake||$4.38 million||120||52||Use bus purchase reserve fund||135||36|
|Minerva||$5.572 million||199||54||Establish bus purchase reserve fund||195||58|
|North Warren||$13.9 million||762||189||Mike Erickson (i)||671|
|John Maday (i)||780|
|Cortney Swan (i)||634|
|Lindsay M. Swan||610|
|Putnam||$2.612 million||126||51||Fund capital reserve||126||50|
|Queensbury||$67.563 million||2,681||1,263||School bus purchase||2,694||1,244|
|Salem||$14.123 million||628||218||Lease school buses||644||202|
|Bancroft Library budget||685||164|
|Saratoga Springs||$132.397 million||7,128||2,724||School bus purchase||7,102||2,695||Marissa Altimar||3,715|
|Library budget||6,999||2,840||Erika Borman*||4,270|
|Anjeanette Emeka* (i)||4,776|
|Schroon Lake||$8.212 million||467||112|
|Schuylerville||$37.464 million||1,202||654||Jack Macica (i)*||983|
|Bernard Buff Jr. (i)*||995|
|South Glens Falls||$59.967 million||2,662||1,069||Purchase school buses||2,432||1,292|
|Warrensburg||$21.592 million||644||253||Lease school buseses||730||162||Elaine Cowin*||669|
|Douglas West* (i)||681|
|Whitehall||$17.084 million||360||71||Purchase school buseses||350||80||George Armstrong*||274|
|Thomas Baker* (i)||236|
|Richard LaChapelle* (i)||375|
|Patricia Norton* (i)||357|
Post-Star reporters Kathleen Moore, Will Springstead and Chad Arnold contributed to this story. Reach Michael Goot at 518-742-3320 or email@example.com and follow his blog poststar.com/blogs/michael_goot/.
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