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Voters approve school budgets, fill open BOE seats

Fri, May 20th 2022 11:35 am

Barber, Bevacqua new faces on Lewiston-Porter School Board

By Terry Duffy


Voters in the Lewiston-Porter, Niagara Wheatfield and North Tonawanda school districts cast approvals Tuesday for their respective 2022-23 budgets, with incumbents reelected and some new faces chosen for open school board seats.

•In Lewiston-Porter, the district’s $53.117 million budget plan was approved by a count of 609 in favor to 222 against, according to unofficial results reported by Lew-Porter District Clerk Marisa I. Barile.

The approved budget plan will see a tax rate in the Town of Lewiston of $26.97 per thousand, and a rate of $23.44 for the Town of Porter – with respective increases of 39 cents for Lewiston property owners and 89 cents for Porter, based on a home assessed at $150,000.

For the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education, Lewiston businessman Chuck Barber, former co-owner/operator of the Apple Granny Restaurant – now employed with the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce – was the top votegetter with 623.

“The results are in and I am proud to share that I will be joining the school board,” Barber said. “Thank you for coming out to vote and all your words of encouragement. I look forward to the next step, this is where the real work starts! Feel to reach out at any time. Thank you again.”

Incumbent BOE member April Saks, a freelance editor, was second with 496 votes. Saks, originally from St. Lewis, moved to Lewiston in 2010 and has been active in volunteer roles with the district over the past several years. She accepted an open position on the BOE in July 2021.

“Since that time, I have learned a lot while participating in board meetings, attending committee meetings, completing the necessary school board training and attending school events. … I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Lewiston-Porter community, and as an educator, parent and a current school board member. I welcome the opportunity to continue this work,” Saks said.

Newcomer Savana Bevacqua won the third open BOE seat with 492 votes. A U.S. Navy veteran and Village of Lewiston Planning Board member, she is the mother of two young children attending Lewiston-Porter schools.

“I believe that supporting our teachers and staff at Lew-Port is integral to the educational health of our children and community. I am here to listen and participate,” Bevacqua said.

In unofficial results from other school districts:

•Niagara Wheatfield voters approved the district’s $79.826 million spending plan by a count of 839 to 296. Incumbent BOE members Robert McDermott and Julie Fago won reelection by counts of 584 and 569 votes, respectively.

Voters approved Proposition No. 2, covering transportation capital expenditures, by a 911-220 vote. Also passing: Proposition No. 3, on capital technology expenditures (898-229); and Proposition No. 4, covering capital project work (842-266).

•North Tonawanda voters approved an $83.555 million budget by a count of 937-493. Winners for three open seats on the Board of Education were incumbent Gabrielle Richards with 1,047 votes, Chloe Mulvaugh with 908, and Peter Chenier Jr. with 828.

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