Weekly Feature

2015-05-27 / Front Page

District budget, bus proposition pass


Fuchs, Priore

elected to Board of Education

Voters in Clarence approved the $75.4 million budget for the 2015-16 school year, as well as an almost $1 million bus purchase proposition, on May 19. In addition, incumbent board member Michael Fuchs has been re-elected to a second term alongside newcomer Dennis Priore.

The budget represents a spending increase of 3.8 percent from last year. It calls for a tax levy increase of 3.84 percent, below the cap level of 4.79. It includes an estimated tax rate of $15.37 per $1,000 of assessed value. The tax increase would be $114 for a $200,000 home.

District officials anticipate the tax rate will be significantly reduced following increased home assessments issued earlier this month by the Town of Clarence.

The official results from the district are as follows:

Budget Vote

• Yes: 2,576 (58 percent)

• No: 1,828 (42 percent)

Bus Proposition

• Yes: 2,644

• No: 1,736

Board of Education

• Michael Fuchs: 2,732 (wins re-election)

• Dennis Priore: 2,690 (wins seat)

• Joseph Lombardo: 1,435

• Jacob Kerksiek: 1,227

Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks expressed his thanks for the community’s support.

“We never take that support for granted, and we recognize that we must continue to earn the trust of our community by providing a world class education to all of our students,” Hicks said. “I believe our teaching and administrative staff is the finest in Western New York, and they are dedicated to continuing the tradition of excellence that defines Clarence schools.”

The budget for next year includes the restoration of 11 teaching positions. The district has lost more than 100 staff members the last four years because of budget constraints.

Hicks said the restorations will provide more targeted academic and intervention services for students, as well as increased elective opportunities at the high school. The superintendent added that he believed some class sizes will be lowered.

“The reductions of the past few years have reduced opportunities for students,” Hicks said. “The restorations begin to restore those opportunities, which we believe are essential for maintaining a world class school district.”

The Board of Education vote resulted in the re-election of Trustee Michael Fuchs, who thanked the community for supporting both him and the budget proposal.

“First and foremost, I am grateful to all those who came out to support the budget,” Fuchs said. “Its passage will allow the district to protect the current program offerings while restoring a small piece of what was lost over the last few years.

“I am humbled to have earned the support of so many people in the community. I am looking forward to working with Dennis and the rest of the Board of Education to ensure we continue to represent the interests of all stakeholders while maintaining the excellence of the Clarence schools for generations to come.”

In addition to Fuchs, former Ken-Ton School District administrator Dennis Priore won a three-year term. He also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve on the board.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to be elected to the Clarence School Board,” Priore said. “It’s a dream I have had for a long time. I intend to work very hard to study the issues, and I know the board members will challenge me and I will challenge them.”

email: sjagord@beenews.com

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