Tonawanda News

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May 2, 2014

Tonawanda School board elections won't be contested

Tonawanda News — The school board election in the Tonawanda City School District won’t be contested this year, as the two incumbents are the only candidates who submitted petitions for the race. 

Incumbents Robert Starr and Diane Misner, who have served on the board since 2011, sent their petitions to Board Clerk Bonnie Jayne as of the 5 p.m. deadline on Wednesday. 

Misner is a registered nurse and has three grown children who graduated from Tonawanda high school. 

“My model is putting kids first,” she said during her 2011 race. “I want to make sure we give our kids the best education possible with the money we have.” 

Misner has lived in the district for more than 30 years, and has served as treasurer and president of two of roughly a half a dozen booster clubs in the city. Misner has also served as a Girl Scout leader, director of Christian education and has been a Sunday school teacher. 

Starr is the executive director of the City of Tonawanda Youth Board and has also served as the director of the baseball program at the Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns. 

Although residents won’t have to make a choice while voting for the school board candidates, locals will still have to vote for or against the district’s $30.7 million budget. The budget includes a 2.55 percent tax levy increase for the 2014-2015 school year, but residents will be reimbursed for some of the increase on their tax bills through a new state program. 

As part of that program, which the state recently announced as part of its budget, qualified taxpayers will receive a credit for the difference between the current school tax bill and the next year’s bill. 

To qualify for a refund, residents’ primary property must be located in the city and they must be eligible for STAR. The refund will not cover changes in a tax bill due to improvements to the home and revaluations. As a result, an increase on a residents’ tax bill due to the recent assessment update in the city will not be covered under the rebate.

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