EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Tuckahoe voters made themselves heard on Tuesday, as they overwhelmingly chose to approve the proposed $31.5 schools budget.
The spending plan was easily passed, with 411 “yes” votes against 235 “no” votes. Voters chose incumbent trustee Michelle Liscio and newcomer Stephen Pagnotta over Lenny Carraturo and former Trustee James Lombardi, who lost his seat.
Liscio, who will enter her second term, garnered the most votes, with 437, while Pagnotta nabbed 324 votes. Lombardi, with 270 and Carraturo’s 248 votes knocked them out of contention.
Tuckahoe, like countless districts and municipalities throughout the county, continue to be plagued by unfunded mandates. This year, teacher retirement contributions increased nearly 8 percent, while health insurance premiums have risen 4.75 percent from a year ago.
The district was aided by several state aid incentive programs, which will save more than $300,000. Seven hundred Chromebook devices will be purchased for everyday use through a state bond, while a full-time position will be eliminated after staff members were given the opportunity for early retirement incentive packages.
The budget is a 2.3 percent increase over last year’s $30.1 million budget, due in large part to mandates, which account for approximately 20 percent of the entire budget. The 1.43 percent tax levy increase is the lowest in five years and decidedly lower than last year’s 3.08 percent increase.