by Larry Austin
Residents passed the Grand Island Central School District's 2012-13 budget proposal Tuesday, May 15, by nearly 2-to-1.
The proposed $53,079,789 budget passed with 862 yes votes to 507 no votes, or 63 percent in support. A $575,000 transportation proposition to purchase buses and vehicles passed 853-504 (63 percent).
Incumbents David Goris, Glenn Bobeck and Joan Droit were each unopposed and elected to three-year terms. Goris received 974 votes, while Bobeck received 936 votes, and Droit, 923 votes.
"These are tough times, and I think the board worked very hard, starting early," Superintendent Robert Christmann said after announcing the results. "Really, it was on every board agenda for five months, to come up with a budget that really as best as it could meets student needs while at the same time, I think, showing great respect for the taxpayer. A 2.3 percent tax increase is one that was needed to keep the educational programs that the community has been very proud of. Our school district has done very well academically, and I think one of the reasons we have is having a great staff. And we could not be as good as we are without the ongoing support of the Grand Island residents. We never take it for granted."
Goris said the budget passage was "a testament to the board and to the administration for putting together a good budget, a solid budget, that continues to deliver the education services that we need to the students on Grand Island. We're pleased with the outcome, certainly. I think it speaks well for the district, the taxpayers. The taxpayers were mindful of constraints that we had and we stayed within the limits that are set. I think we're very pleased the community supported the budget that we put to the vote."