Tonawanda News

May 11, 2013

NT school budget in crunch time

By Michael Regan michael.regan@tonawanda-news.com
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The North Tonawanda School District will have a busy Tuesday evening with plans set for a public budget hearing and an introduction to the five candidates running for the school board. 

District administrators and current board members anticipate less of a public budget backlash compared to the last two years, with widespread cuts and adjustments to a state-mandated tax cap causing hundreds to flock to the Alumni Student Activity Center, often to express their displeasures. 

“Last year we had the closing of Gilmore and the redistricting,” said Superintendent Greg Woytila. “There wasn’t a lot of talk about the budget.” 

The board voted to adopt a $65,740,756 budget in April for the 2013-2014 school year, which equals a 2.56 percent tax increase or a $53.60 rise in tax bills for every $100,000 of assessed property value. 

Two incumbents, Art Pappas and Colleen Osborn, who are seeking to retain their seats for three-year terms beginning in July, will vie against Susanne Williams, Robert Schmigel and Randy Brandt, who are each newcomers to the race.

They will have a brief chance to introduce themselves to the public on Tuesday, during a three- to five-minute “statement” said John Tylec, district director of personnel, following a budget presentation given by Assistant Superintendent Allen Getter. Residents will have a chance to comment on the proposal after the presentation. 

“There’s no debate or anything just basically who they are, why they’re running and what their goals and intentions may be,” Tylec said. “That will happen right after the budget hearing ends.” 

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Alumni Student Activity Center. Residents will go to the polls to vote on budget and candidates on May 21. 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.