Extremely close vote elects Champlin, Schwartz and Henderson as trustees
By Michael Turton
The proposed Haldane Central School District 2012-13 budget of $21,927,476 was approved by a margin of more than two to one, garnering 578 “yes” votes to only 227 “no” votes in the referendum and election held on May 15. While the budget vote was announced first by Registrar Doreen Derry, it was overshadowed by the very close race for three trustee seats on the Haldane Board of Education.
Newcomer Jon Champlin received the most votes with 520. Evelyn Carr-White received 508 votes – just 12 fewer than Champlin – yet failed in her election bid. Incumbents Evan Schwartz and Peter Henderson received 519 and 515 votes respectively to take the other two seats.
All four candidates were in the school music room when Derry read the election results about 20 minutes after the polls closed at 9 p.m. When Carr-White’s vote total was announced last among the four candidates – and those in attendance realized just how close the election had been – an collective groan was heard in the room. “That is probably the closest election I have ever been a part of,” commented Joe Curto, outgoing school board president. “I want to thank you for your efforts Evelyn. Obviously you could not have come any closer. I hope you will stay involved,” he said.
Champlin was pleased with the voter turnout and not only because of his victory. “I didn’t know what to except,” he said when asked if he had any inkling he would receive the most votes. “I’m glad a lot of people came out. The margin on the budget is a great sign. I’m looking forward to getting started in July.”
Carr-White was visibly disappointed. “I’m sorry I didn’t win, but I will continue to be involved,” she said.
Superintendent Mark Villanti was noticeably pleased about the margin of approval for the budget but he was already looking to the future. “I think this is the first time in my career that I’ve said this. We’re going to savor this for about two hours, then tomorrow morning we going to roll up our sleeves and start working on next year’s budget.”
Immediately after the election results were announced, district clerk Kathy Marino administered the oath of office for Peter Henderson. His two-year term runs through June 30, 2014. Champlin and Schwartz begin their three-year terms on July 1, 2012.
Photos by M.Turton