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Voter's Guide: Harrison to Decide on $104.2 Million Budget

Voters will either accept or deny the Harrison Central School District's proposed $104.2 million budget Tuesday.

Voters will decide the fate of the Harrison Central School District's $104.2 million proposed 2012-13 budget Tuesday.

Without a contested board of education race, the budget will be the focus of Tuesday's vote. Administrators proposed of the budget this spring, outlining cuts that eventually brought the tax levy increase beneath the state's newly imposed cap before approving the current budget.

Although the proposed tax levy increase is less than 2 percent, the tax rate would increase 3.08 percent because of drops in assessment values town-wide. However, the tax levy is critical because only 50 percent of voters are needed to approve the budget, rather than 60 percent if the tax levy increase breached 2 percent.

If the budget fails, the school district will have one more opportunity to create a budget that meets voter approval.

Our voter guide below includes a brief outline of what you need to know before taking to the polls on Tuesday. Voting begins at 7 a.m. and polls close at 9 p.m. 

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The Budget

  • Overall Spending: $104.2 million
  • Tax Levy: $93.1 million
  • Tax Levy Increase: 1.97 percent
  • Tax Rate Increase: 3.08 percent
  • Budget-to-Budget Spending Increase: 1.07 percent
  • The Skinny: The Harrison Board of Education tasked administrators with two key goals this year: Create a budget beneath the tax cap while maintaining class sizes and programming. While passing the on April 18, the board said these goals were accomplished. Overall, the district will eliminate 10.4 staff positions—including five instructional jobs—but will not need to lay anyone off. The teaching reductions were achieved through a retirement incentive program this fall and class sizes will remain steady because of a slight dip in enrollment.
  • Noteable Cuts: Along with the five teaching positions, the district eliminated one administrative position, saving approximately $142,000.
  • Biggest Challenges: School administrators cited cuts in state aid, dropping property assessments and increased employee retirement costs as well as mandated programs from the state level as big financial obstacles this year.
  • For more on the budget, .

    Board of Education Race

    • Two incumbents will run for another term on the Harrison Board of Education this year. Barring a write-in victory,  and Dennis Di Lorenzo will both win new three-year terms. 

    Where to Vote:

    Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at each of Harrison's four elementary schools. Locations are as follows:

    • : 50 Taylor Avenue, West Harrison
    • : 200 Halstead Avenue, Harrison
    • : 2995 Purchase Street, Purchase
    • : 480 Harrison Avenue, Harrison

    There is no registration for school elections. Voters are required to be a United States citizen, older than 18 and a resident of Harrison's school district for at least the last 30 days.

    Proof of residency includes a driver's license, voter card or utility bill.

    A sample of this year's ballot is attached to this article.

    Results of today's vote will be presented to the public Tuesday evening, Patch will have results posted as soon as they are available.

    Naomi May 15, 2012 at 05:09 PM
    When someone says something and puts their name behind it they own it. When someone says something behind a fake name they don't. You're trying to get people to do something but you will not own it. It does not have the same impact. If you would like to try drag my name through the mud, I cannot stop you from it. I focus on facts and let people make up their own mind. I do not try to jam my opinion down people's throats. There's a saying "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink". I bring a horse to water. if you want to get into a philosophical debate I can. Who is to say that your opinion is right and the other side is wrong. Why is your truth is the truth? Why isn't their truth the overarching truth? Dialog and ideas are good. Trying to ram your thoughts down someone's throat is not the truth-it is called being a bully. You are sitting here talking about change, but people have to want to change. Harrison as a whole does not want to change. The reason why I say that is because approximately 2500 people vote in each election. There is no preregistration required to vote. The rules to vote are clearly listed on the Board of Ed website and are as follows: A US citizen,18 years old, district resident for at least 30 days with proof of residency. Why don't more people vote-I do not know the answer. The people of Harrison must vote for change, you hiding behind a fake name and attacking people who question you is not going to bring you change. Naomi
    Freddie May 15, 2012 at 06:20 PM
    The people that vote are probably the middle class (that's a joke) homeowners who cannot afford to have their taxes increased anymore, the senior citizens who are on a fixed income and the wealthy who live in Harrison while their children get a good education. All the others who don't pay school and town taxes don't really care.
    Ross Revira May 15, 2012 at 07:08 PM
    @ Naomi voicing an opinion stands on it's own merits. You can accept an opinion or not accept it. If you do not like my name but agree with what I say do you do just the opposite? Who is trying to ram thoughts down your throat? Do not read it if you don't like it. I do not think you have the ability to have a philosophical debate because that would encompass ideas not names.
    Naomi May 16, 2012 at 12:34 AM
    An opinion is to say I think you should vote for the budget or I don't think you should vote for the budget and the facts behind it. Once you start saying vote down the budget for your family's future is using the same intimidation that the other side uses. Naomi
    Donna May 16, 2012 at 12:36 AM
    I agree with Ross..Just because you don't give your real name doesn't negate your opinion, especially if it's thoughtful and intelligent. What's the difference if you know a person's name? Anyone who writes an offensive post is deleted, as it should be.

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