School budgets pass easily in Cold Spring, Garrison

By Chip Rowe

John Hedlund

Margaret Parr and John Hedlund won the two open seats on the five-member Haldane school board on Tuesday (May 15) from a slate of five candidates. Voters returned Parr to the board for her second, three-year term.

Voters also approved the district’s $24 million budget, 471 to 142. About 15 percent of registered voters in the district made it to the polls.

The two seats in play were held by Parr and Evan Schwartz, who has served since 2007 but did not seek re-election. Hedlund received 337 votes and Parr, 303. The other three candidates were Keith Anderson (116 votes), Sandy McKelvey (209) and Laura O’Connell (163).

Margaret Parr

Voter also approved two propositions, one to spend up to $55,000 on a school bus (by a vote of 446-166) and the other to create a 10-year facilities improvement reserve fund of up to $1 million (488-124).

Hedlund is vice president of U.S. issuer marketing for Mastercard. He has two children at Haldane, in the third and fifth grades, and has been involved with the Haldane School Foundation since 2013.

Parr is the registrar of vital statistics for Bronxville. A former PTA president, she has two children who graduated from Haldane, in 2016 and 2017.


Turnout was just 5 percent at the Garrison School, after a violent storm hit in the late afternoon, knocking out power and forcing the cancellation of a student concert that usually brings parents to the school. (The concert has been rescheduled for Thursday.)

Only 103 residents voted on the district’s $10.9 million budget, which passed, 71-32. The three incumbent board candidates, running unopposed, were each re-elected. Raymond O’Rourke received 91 votes and David Gelber and James Hoch each received 85.

School Boards


Jen Daly (2013)
Peggy Clements (2015)*
Margaret Parr (2015)
Laura Hammond (elected 2016)*
John Hedlund (2018)

*Hammond was appointed in 2015. Clements was initially elected to a one-year term.


Diana Swinburne (elected 2005)
Raymond O’Rourke (2009)
Derek DuBois (2013)
David Gelber (2015)
James Hoch (2015)
Jill Lake (2016)
Courtney McCarthy (2017)

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

A former longtime national magazine editor, Rowe has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Idaho and South Dakota and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. Location: Philipstown. Languages: English. Area of Expertise: General.