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Bedford School Budget Passes, Three Elected

BEDFORD, N.Y. – Bedford Central School District voters have approved the 2012-13 school budget 1,769 votes to 624, according to unofficial election results, and elected trustees to fill three open seats on the board of education. Results were announced at the board meeting Tuesday night.

The 2012-13 budget is approximately $122.7 million and calls for a 2.7 percent increase in the tax levy, which is the total amount of tax revenue the district may collect. The budget reflects an increase of 3.1 percent from last year’s spending plan.

The district said the budget remains under the new 2 percent state tax cap passed last summer because of exemptions made for employee pension contribution, changes in the tax base and for capital projects.

The budget includes about $1 million in capital projects, which board members said are necessary to maintain the safety of students and proper upkeep of school facilities.

These new projects include a new steam boiler for Mount Kisco Elementary School, asbestos testing in all schools and a hot water boiler for Bedford Hills Elementary School.

The budget also eliminates 55 positions – a number that includes the 37 transportation workers who will be laid off when the district outsources all of its transportation to Towne Bus Corp.

In the school board race, voters elected three candidates, all of whom ran unopposed. Unofficial tallies announced by school officials Tuesday night show that current board President Susan Elion Wollin of Bedford Village received 1,544 votes, and will serve another three-year term, while board member Andrew Bracco of Mount Kisco picked up 1,436 votes and officially gained the seat to which he was appointed when Mark Chernis resigned last year.

Former teacher Lee Goldstein of Pound Ridge, who also tried for Chernis' seat, snapped up the position vacated by Graham Anderson this year, with an unofficial total of 1,404 votes.

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