Katonah-Lewisboro Budget Passes; Rifkin, Posner Win Seats

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Left to right: Scott Posner and William Rifkin, who won two Katonah-Lewisboro school board seats.
Left to right: Scott Posner and William Rifkin, who won two Katonah-Lewisboro school board seats. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

LEWISBORO, N.Y. -- Katonah-Lewisboro's 2014-15 budget easily passed, with results showing that 1,746 voted in favor and 535 voted against.

The budget includes a tax levy (total tax revenue) decrease of 3.72 percent, while total spending will decline by 3.24 percent. The total amount of the budget is more than $102.7 million. The tax rates, which determine what is owed, are projected to fluctuate, with percentage decreases in Bedford, Pound Ridge and North Salem of 11.39, 4.74 and 5.5, respectively. Lewisboro is projected to get a tax rate increase of 1.66 percent.

The budget's factors include the impending closure of Lewisboro Elementary School (LES), along with savings due to health insurance and reduction in personnel because of enrollment declining. The budget also includes $972,000 for full-day kindergarten.

Winning two open school board seats are Scott Posner and William Rifkin. The two defeated Rory Burke and Carmen Delessio. District-provided results show Rifkin received 1,684 votes while Posner got 1,422. Burke came in third with 1,016 votes while Delessio received 665.

Delessio reacted to the results with an email statement, congratulating his opponents and expressing a desire to remain involved in district issues.

"When I heard who was running, I knew that an excellent board would be in place going forward. I congratulate Scott Posner and Bill Rifkin. I am honored to have run with such a group. This has been a good race. I expect the congeniality and respect shown in this race will continue."

Charles Day, the school board's president and one of two outgoing members, feels that the election outcome is a "vindication" and noted that those who ran who were more supportive of the current board did better. He praised the winners and also hopes that Burke remains involved.

Additionally, two ballot propositions easily passed. Proposition 2, which involves placing $872,500 in a capital fund to pay for five buses, a wheel chair-accessible van and a utility vehicle, passed by a margin of 1,649 to 641. Proposition 3, which involves placing $1,620,000 into a capital fund to pay for turf field replacement and track work at the John Jay campus, passed by 1,560 to 731.

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