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Bedford Central Voting Data Shows Differences In Eastern, Western Sides

A map showing the five elementary school attendance zones in the Bedford Central School District. The attendance zones are used as election districts for budget and school board votes.
A map showing the five elementary school attendance zones in the Bedford Central School District. The attendance zones are used as election districts for budget and school board votes. Photo Credit: Screen shot/Bedford Central School District

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- While overall numbers show that Bedford Central voters narrowly rejected the proposed 2016-17 budget and ousted all three school board incumbents, data for individual polling places show a split between residents in the eastern and western parts of the district.

Polling places, which are co-terminus with elementary school attendance zones, shed light into regional differences within one of Westchester County's largest school districts by land area.

Results show that the budget's largest margins of support came in the Mount Kisco Elementary School (MKES), West Patent Elementary School (WPES) and Bedford Hills Elementary School (BHES) zones. The budget passed by much narrower margins in the Bedford Village Elementary School (BVES) and Pound Ridge Elementary School (PRES) zones. In the case of BVES, the approval was by just one vote.

The budget, which required a 60-percent supermajority to pass because it involved overriding the state-mandated tax cap, failed because it only received a simple majority of 58.78 percent.

The MKES zone encompasses large sections of the Mount Kisco and part of Bedford Corners, while the WPES zone encompasses parts of Mount Kisco, Bedford Hills, Bedford Corners and New Castle. The BHES zone encompasses much of Bedford Hills, while the BVES zone covers Bedford Village and North Castle. The PRES zone encompasses Pound Ridge and small parts of Bedford Village.

The strongest show of support for budgets in recent years has come from the three western polling places while the weakest has come from the two eastern polling places.

Data also show that the board ticket comprised of incumbent Michael Solomon, and challengers Pam Harney and Michelle Brooks, performed the strongest in BVES and PRES. Incumbents Suzanne Grant and Jennifer Gerken, who ran on their own ticket performed the strongest in MKES and WPES, while being close in BHES. Challenger Beth Staropoli, who ran alone but had some overlap in supporters from Grant and Gerken, won in the three western zones while losing in the two eastern zones.

Solomon is part of a 3-member board faction that voted against sending the proposed budget to the voters and has challenged the district administration during the process to shape it. He sought to unseat Gerken and Grant, who are part of a 4-member faction that approved putting the budget up for a vote and has more frequently sided with the administration.

Solomon sought to add a 5-2 majority on the board by getting Brooks and Harney elected.

Brian Sheerin, who is part of Solomon's faction, won his seat last year by carrying the BVES and PRES zones over opponent Justine Marous. Sheerin won by a large margin in the latter and by a narrow margin in the former. In contrast, Sheerin lost in MKES, WPES and BHES zones but not by blow-out margins. The budget's narrowest margin of approval last year was in the PRES zone.

Following are the results for the budget and board seats by elementary zone:

BUDGET:

MKES:

Yes - 634

No - 267

Total Votes - 901

BHES:

Yes - 392

No - 281

Total Votes - 673

PRES:

Yes - 561

No - 508

Total Votes - 1,069

WPES:

Yes - 447

No - 203

Total Votes - 650

BVES:

Yes - 563

No - 562

Total Votes - 1,125

GRAND TOTAL:

Yes - 2,597

No - 1,821

Total Votes - 4,418

SEAT CURRENTLY HELD BY GERKEN:

MKES:

Gerken - 569

Brooks - 278

Total Votes - 847

BHES:

Gerken - 310

Brooks - 338

Total Votes - 648

PRES:

Gerken - 409

Brooks - 606

Total Votes - 1,015

WPES:

Gerken - 369

Brooks - 246

Write-ins - 2

Total Votes - 617

BVES:

Gerken - 390

Brooks - 701

Write-in - 1

Total Votes - 1,092

GRAND TOTAL:

Gerken - 2,047

Brooks - 2,169

Write-ins - 3 Write-ins,

Total Votes - 4,219

SEAT CURRENTLY HELD BY GRANT:

MKES:

Harney - 261

Grant - 592

Total Votes - 853

BHES:

Harney - 318

Grant - 327

Total Votes - 645

PRES:

Harney - 630

Grant - 386

Total Votes - 1,016

WPES:

Harney - 242

Grant - 365

Write-ins - 2

Total Votes - 609

BVES:

Harney - 698

Grant - 381

Write-ins - 3

Total Votes - 1,082

GRAND TOTAL:

Harney - 2,149

Grant - 2,051

Write-ins - 5

Total Votes - 4,205

SEAT CURRENTLY HELD BY SOLOMON:

MKES:

Solomon - 255

Staropoli - 607

Total Votes - 862

BHES:

Solomon - 281

Staropoli - 364

Total Votes - 645

PRES:

Solomon - 615

Staropoli - 403

Total Votes - 1,018

WPES:

Solomon - 231

Staropoli - 389

Write-in - 1

Total Votes - 621

BVES:

Solomon - 687

Staropoli - 391

Write-in - 1

Total Votes - 1,079

GRAND TOTAL:

Solomon - 2,069

Staropoli - 2,154

Write-ins - 2

Total Votes - 4,225

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