Residents of School District 14 on Tuesday approved a $105 million budget that maintains Hewlett-Woodmere’s education programs with the lowest tax levy increase for the district in years.
Central Council PTA Co-President Melissa Gates and physician Jonathan Altus were voted onto the school board, along with incumbent Stephen Witt.
“It means the community continues to support education and the bottom line of the students,” Witt said. “I’m delighted by the results on behalf of our students and students to come.”
According to preliminary election results, the budget, which raises the tax levy by 1.91 percent, was passed by 1,388-877. Proposition 2, which creates a repair reserve fund from surplus funds, also passed by a vote of 1,324-756.
Melissa Gates received 1,605 votes, Witt got 1,501, Altus received 1,325 and opposition candidate Fred Usherson got 824.
Current board members Marcy Goldberg and Jill Stern did not seek reelection.
“I’m very grateful to the community for showing their confidence and I hope to serve them well,” Gates said. She said the budget passing was “a relief.”
Altus said that “it’s exciting I’ll be able to use my energies to make the school district the best possible.”
The Hewlett-Woodmere School District used its in order to meet its budget, which was only slightly higher than last year’s. Most of the increases, district officials said, were due to unfunded mandates.
“The board of education proposed a highly responsible and responsive budget,” said Superintendent Dr. Joyce Bisso. “The community supported their efforts to maintain and improve the instructional programs for our community’s children. We’re all grateful for their support.”
Turnout for this year’s election was much lower than , when about 3,160 people came out to vote.
Cheryl May, who was voted onto the board last year, said she’s “thrilled” the budget passed and that he fellow PTA member, Gates, is joining her on the board.
Fellow Central Council PTA Co-President Mitch Greebel said the district could now go back to doing what it needs to.
“In the end,” he said, “our kids win.”