Chappaqua Board of Education incumbents Warren Messner and Jeffrey Mester won re-election Tuesday night and voters overwhelmingly approved the district’s $118.2 million budget for 2016-17 that carries no tax levy increase.
Messner, the current board president, won a second three-year term with 921 votes, followed by Mester’s 870 in his successful bid for a fourth term. First-time candidate Rhonda Kaufman had a very credible showing, collecting 641 votes.
The budget, which carries just a .14 percent increase for New Castle residents who comprise the overwhelming portion of the district, passed by a 1,126-261 margin.
Both winners thanked voters for once again placing their trust in them.
“Our commitment to serve is amazing,” Messner said. “The people on the board, we don’t always agree with everything, but we agree (that) our goal is excellence in education and to serve the community.”
Mester said he believes that district voters recognize the hard work he has put into the schools over the past nine years.
“I’d like to think that they feel I represent the entire community, and I put a lot of time and effort into it and I appreciate their confidence in me,” he said.
Despite falling short, Kaufman said it was important to give voters a choice and to raise issue and to press for as much transparency as possible. She said she supports the district and the path that it’s on.
“It’s disappointing for me, but it’s all about get out, it’s all about getting out and listening to the people in town,” Kaufman said. “They made their decision.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lyn McKay thanked the voters for their continue support in budget votes.
“It’s a real testament to our teachers and our administration and our community and our students and we’re just thrilled we had such result and so many people came out,” McKay said.
Messner also thanked the public for its support and the administration for its efforts.
“They worked real hard at this,” he said. “It continues to move the district forward with education, maintaining current programs and a zero percent tax levy. It’s a real nice thing to have.”
In four weeks, the district will once again be asking for the community’s support. On Tuesday, June 14, the district is holding the vote on its $42.5 million facilities and infrastructure referendum that will help reconfigure certain learning spaces in the district, make necessary repairs and upgrade athletic fields at Horace Greeley High School and Robert E. Bell Middle School.
Mount Pleasant Results
Incumbent Christopher Pinchiaroli and challenger Vincent Graci won seats in Tuesday’s board of education race. They defeated incumbent Theresa Fowler and the election’s other challenger Celia Cannata.
The district’s $58.9 million budget passed 736-407.
Pleasantville, Byram Hills budgets pass
Voters easily approved next year’s budgets in Pleasantville and Byram Hills. Pleasantville voters passed the $49.2 million spending plan by a 562-170 margin. The budget carries a tax rate hike of 1.24 percent. In Bryam Hills, the district’s $89.8 million budget was approved 882-159.
Both districts had unopposed board of education elections. President Shane McGaffey had no competition for a third term in Pleasantville, the only seat that was up this year. Current Byram Hills Board of Education President Robin Glat will be joined by newcomers Mia DiPietro and Lara Stengel.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/