Thorpe re-elected, Daly edges out Rincon-Tomizawa
By Michael Turton
Voters in the Haldane Central School District gave the $22,345,120 spending plan proposed for 2013-14 a convincing “thumbs up” in the referendum and election held on Tuesday, May 21. “Yes” votes in support of the budget totaled 554, more than double the 210 “no” votes. A second proposition to fund the purchase of a new van and to upgrade campus security also passed easily, garnering 578 “yes” votes to only 230 opposed.
Three candidates had campaigned for two trustee seats on the Haldane School Board. Incumbent and current Vice President Gillian Thorpe was the big winner at the polls, receiving 591 votes. Newcomer Jennifer Daly edged out another first-time candidate, Julisa Rincon-Tomizawa by a count of 423 to 399 — a difference of just 24 votes.
Polls closed at 9 p.m. and outgoing Haldane School Board President Michael Junjulas read the results at 9:25. A small crowd had gathered in the music room to await the results after a very brief School Board meeting. Immediately after learning she had won, Daly said simply, “At this moment I’m very excited, and just looking forward — that’s it!”
Superintendent of School Mark Villanti seemed relaxed as he awaited the budget referendum results. Villanti said that election workers had commented that the voter turnout was light. “I interpret that to mean there is not a lot of dissatisfaction,” he said. “People tend to participate more when they are dissatisfied. It’s just human nature.”
During the abbreviated board meeting, trustees voted in favor of the Village of Cold Spring Board of Trustees acting as lead agency for the SEQRA review of zoning changes associated with the redevelopment of the Butterfield Hospital site. Villanti was asked by a member of the audience if he had views on proposed development there and possible impact on the school district.
“It’s not our job to comment on proposals as being appropriate or not, but housing for seniors is generally looked upon favorably by school boards,” he said. Regarding development at Butterfield that might increase enrollment at Haldane he said, “I wouldn’t say we’re at capacity but we’re close … depending on what grade level.” Villanti said that the School Board has not been called upon to comment on any formal proposals yet.