Herricks School District residents sent a clear message on May 20 when they turned out to vote on the school district’s 2014-15 budget; once the ballots had been counted, the spending plan was revealed to have been approved by a wide margin.
The $107,594,911 budget, representing a 2.84 percent increase over the previous year’s plan with a 1.73 tax levy, passed 1,378-696. Board of Education President James Gounaris said the comfortable margin was a concrete sign the public was firmly behind the work the board was doing for Herricks students.
“The Herricks Board of Education is extremely happy with the turnout of the vote, and the two-to-one majority that it passed with,” he said. “We believe that it shows a clear indication that the board is in synch with the expectations and financial responsibilities the residents charge us with.”
Another issue on the ticket May 20 was a $3.5 million bond to replace an existing one that is set to expire at the end of next year. Voters passed the measure 1105-557. The new bond will finance capital improvement projects throughout the district, with Gounaris noting that it will not result in any increase to the taxes of Herricks residents.
“To put up a responsible budget and a responsible bond like this to continue to maintain our facilities and our educational programs always seems to be met in Herricks with a positive outcome,” he said. “We believe that positive and great things are coming for Herricks by the fact that we’ve added some positions and programs back that had been previously cut, and we think that everyone seems pleased with the stewardship of the school district.”
Gounaris said that the new bond will be put towards various maintenance projects for the buildings in the district, such as new boilers and roof at Herricks Middle School, a new roof over the Denton Avenue School gym and windows at Herricks High School, to name a few.
In addition, both Gounaris and trustee Christine Turner were successfully re-elected to the board of education, with Gounaris running for his second term and Turner for her ninth. Despite both running unoppose; Gounaris received 1,249 votes and Turner, 1,345.
“Both Christine and I are extremely pleased that we were re-elected, and it was wonderful to have run without opposition…it was able to keep us focused on the job at-hand of getting the budget and the bond passed,” Gounaris said. “We are both thankful to the community for their vote of confidence in us, and we hope to continue, both she and I, to do the good work and the hard work that we do on a daily basis for the residents of Herricks.”