SCHOOL BUDGET APPROVED BY WIDE MARGIN; GALATI WINS SEAT ON BOARD AND COMMANDER RE-ELECTED; BUSING PROPOSITION PASSES EASILY
May 16, 2017 -- On Tuesday, residents approved by a wide margin the North Shore School District's $102,113,515 spending plan for the 2017-18 school year with 1762 or 78.4% of voters supporting the budget and 486 (21.6%) voting "no." In the Trustees election, Rich Galati, a recently retired teacher from the District, recieved 1438 votes, while incumbent Joanna Commander who was running for a second three year term kept her seat with 1243 votes. Cheryl Brown came up a bit short of a spot on the Board with 1039 votes. Residents also gave their approval to reduce the busing distance limits to the Middle School from 1.5 miles to 1 mile for 7th and 8th graders making the minimum mileage requirement equal to that for 6th graders. The vote was 1777 in favor and 449 against.
In response to questions from Northwordnews, both Ms. Commander and Mr. Galati expressed their appreciation to residents for giving them the opportunity to serve.
“I thank the community for supporting my candidacy in this past election, and am honored to serve them as a North Shore Schools Board of Education Trustee,” said Mr. Galati.
He noted that this a period of change in the district with six major administrative positions being filled by new people next school year including Schools Superintendent, Middle School Principal, and Director of Special Education.
“I look forward to helping to make this time one where we have a smooth and positive transition,” he said. “We need to continue to move ahead to build upon our academic and extracurricular programs, providing more opportunities for all of our students, ever striving for excellence.”
Ms. Commander said that she looked forward to using her position on the School Board to help coordinate the District’s efforts to address substance abuse with those of the recently formed North Shore Coalition Against Substance Abuse, a group that she chairs.
With turn-out at nearly 2300, about 600 more votes were cast this year than in last year's uncontested Trustees election. The number of voters was nearly equal to the 2014 turn-out -- the last time the number of candidates exceeded the number of seats up for grabs.
The budget for the upcoming school year is 2.633% greater than the current year's budget, and the approved tax levy of $84,488,578 is actually lower than last year's by $9,500 but just at the tax levy limit. Mr. Galati will be replacing outgoing Trustee Lara Gonzalez who did not seek re-election.
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