October 22, 2021

CSD voters OK budget

Residents cast ballots in school districts across state

Colin Spencer/Staff Reporter

A car pulls onto Valley View Drive in Cortland on Tuesday as voters across the state cast their ballots for school district budgets, school board races and other education decisions.

Sue Guido walked along the outside of the Kaufman Center on Tuesday after voting in the Cortland Enlarged City School District annual budget and Board of Education candidates. For her, voting is an annual event.

“Every year I vote,” she said. “I feel it’s my civic duty.”

Voters like Guido headed to the polls Tuesday to vote on school district budgets, propositions and school board candidates.

Unlike last year, in which the pandemic required all voters to cast absentee ballots, voters were in person at polling sites Tuesday.

In Cortland, voters took to the polls to decide whether to approve a $50.8 million budget, money to spend on new school buses and increase the Cortland Free Library allocation.

School district voters in Cortland, Homer, McGraw, DeRuyter, Tully and Moravia adopted budgets, but details were not available for every district in the greater Cortland area.

In developing the Cortland budget, district Business Administrator Laurie Widman said the goal was to get the district off using reserves. Before the 2020-21 budget, the district had relied on reserves to close the gap between revenue and expenditures since the 2015-16 school year.

This year’s budget also marked the second straight year of an increase in spending after not increasing between the 2015-16 to 2019-20 school years as the district relied on reserves.

Guido, who said it was “wonderful” to be back voting in-person, said she recognized the importance of voting on school budgets.

“I know the teachers need a good budget,” said Guido, whose son, Jeff Guido, teaches history at Cortland High School. “It helps the kids.”