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Somers Board of Education Approves 2012-13 Budget

SOMERS, N.Y. - Tuesday evening’s board of education meeting saw the board’s approval of the 2012-13 school budget , amounting to $81,334,171.

Superintendent of Schools Raymond Blanch began by reviewing the constrictions of the 2 percent tax levy cap and summarizing its effect. The school budget will increase by 1.13 percent, he explained, a figure within the tax levy cap.

Assistant Superintendent of Business, Ken Crowley, added, “We keep in touch with the assessor’s office. The property assessment valuation in Somers is down by about $9 million, equal to approximately 7 or 8 percent of last year’s valuation. When assessments go down, taxes go up.” Therefore, an increase in school tax of approximately 3.94 percent is forecast for the coming year.

Blanch compared the current enrollment and budget figures to the numbers for 2002-03.

“They mirror each other,” Blanch said. “Enrollment is declining. The birth rate is very low right now, so enrollment will decrease in the future.”

The public will vote on the budget on Tuesday, May 15. School Board President Maureen Miller pointed out that “you do not need to register to vote in a school district election if you are already registered with the Westchester County Board of Elections.”

Anyone wishing to register can go to the district clerk’s office at the Somers Middle School (SMS), Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You can also register on Wednesday, May 9, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in conference room 202 at SMS. The deadline for registration is Thursday, May 10.

Miller urged people to get out and vote.

“Freedom isn’t free,” Miller said. “You need to vote and you need to educate yourself on everything that’s going on. On May 15th you’ll be voting for your programs and for people who will affect your children’s education for the next three years.”

On May 15 voters will also be asked to choose two board of education trustees , since the terms of Miller and Vice President Sarena Meyer expire this year. Anyone who wants to run may file a petition with the district clerk’s office. The deadline for filing is 5 p.m. on Monday, April 16. For further information, contact District Clerk Nancy Corrado (914) 277-2403.

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