Budget heading to voters again

NORTHVILLE – The Northville Central School District Board of Education will send the district’s 2014-15 budget proposal, which voters rejected May 20, back to voters June 17.

The $10.6 million proposal carries an estimated tax-levy increase of 3.8 percent, or $217,000, and exceeds the state-imposed tax cap.

The board members, except for John Sira, who was not in attendance, all voted Thursday to put the budget up for the revote.

The budget requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass because it exceeds the tax-levy cap of 1.12 percent.

On May 20, the majority of voters supported the budget in a 255-179 vote. However, district officials said the proposal fell five votes short of the supermajority.

If the district were to drop the tax-levy increase below the cap, the district would have to make various cuts, such as a teaching assistant, a computer information officer, extra-curricular stipends, and junior varsity softball and baseball, said district Treasurer Bruce Ellsworth.

Northville Superintendent Debra Lynker said she did not think it would be possible to cut the items from the budget.

“It is impossible to cut to the cap, and what is the point of just cutting one or two things that just detracts from the budget?” Lynker said.

Some members of the board said members of the public approached them after the vote failed and said they missed their chance to vote because of they either forgot or assumed the budget would pass.

Sheldon Ginter, Board of Education president, said he wanted to get as many people as he can to vote June 17.

“We need to have another 50 people to come in and vote yes, and that is not unreasonable,” Ginter said.

Guy Poulin, a Northville resident, said he did not support the previously proposed merger with Mayfield Central School, but he voted to approve the budget. If members of the public who did not vote before come out June 17, he is sure the budget would pass, he said.

If the budget vote fails for the second time, the district would go to a contingency budget, which would include a 1.11 percent tax-levy increase.