Two spending propositions also pass
By Chip Rowe
Voters on Tuesday (May 21) overwhelmingly approved the Beacon school district’s proposed $73.6 million budget, 749-143. That represents a 6.6 percent turnout among 15,066 registered voters.
The spending, which is an increase of about $3 million, or 4.3 percent, over last year, is just under the state-mandated tax cap for the district of 4.4 percent. It will increase the taxes on a Beacon home assessed at $300,000 by about $200 annually.
School officials say the budget will pay for an additional elementary school teacher, new high school courses such as Introduction to Italian and a social worker who will be based primarily at the high school and specialize in the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse.
Voters also approved spending up to $450,000 to purchase two school buses and four vans (727-243) and to allow the district to shift funds to increase spending on a capital improvement project by $700,000, to $9.7 million, after bids to install lights at an athletic field came in higher than expected (740-232).
Three incumbent board members, all seeking their second, 3-year terms, ran unopposed. Meredith Heuer received 814 votes, followed by Michael Rutkoske (786) and Antony Tseng (678). The candidates won easily in 2016, the first of three consecutive election cycles that saw voters install an almost entirely new school board.