By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
School district voters voted overwhelmingly Tuesday in support of a $60 million budget for 2016-17 and returned two incumbents to the Board of Education.
In district voting held in the high school main gym, school board President Lisa Pyc and trustee Donna Tomkins were re-elected to their seats in a three-candidate race for two open seats. Pyc (914 votes) and Tomkins (833) defeated newcomer Dawn Lawley (775). The voters passed the $60,977,971 school budget with 64 percent voting in favor (936 to 536) and a separate proposition to buy school buses and vehicles at an expense not to exceed $646,327.
"It's always so comforting that the community comes out and votes so positively in favor of its schools," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Teresa Lawrence of the budget results. "Especially knowing that included our local share for the capital projects that the community first came out in 2011 and said 'Yes.' We continue to say, 'Yes, we support growth in our schools.' "
After her re-election, Donna Tomkins said, "We needed continuity on the board, so this is the first time we've had the same seven people two years in a row."
The New York State School Boards Association reported Wednesday that 98.5 percent of school budgets in New York passed.