Johnstown voters approve $41,021,071 budget for 2022-2023 school year
William J. Stock and Marjorie Kline elected to Board of Education as write-in candidates
The Greater Johnstown School District community approved the district’s $41,021,071 budget proposal for the 2022-23 school year on Tuesday, May 17 by a vote of 541-209, a margin of 72%.
“A school’s budget is an expense plan that is thoughtfully and carefully developed to support its operations and local, state and federal educational requirements. It is also an expression of the community’s value placed on the education of its youngest citizens,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crankshaw said.
“The vote on the 2022-2023 school budget is a clear indication of our community’s commitment to a strong school district. I am very enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of the Greater Johnstown School District, and would like to thank our citizens for their confidence and continued support,” he added.
The 2022-23 school budget reflects a 2.63% ($1,053,082) increase in spending and a property tax levy increase of 4.84% ($519,447), which is at the District’s allowable limit as calculated under the state’s “tax cap” formula. A simple majority (more than 50%) was required to pass the budget.
This marks the second consecutive year that the District’s proposed tax levy increase stayed within the cap, with unanimous voter approval of the budget (2021 and 2022). The prior three years (2018, 2019 and 2020) the District needed a supermajority vote (60% or more) to exceed the maximum allowable tax levy, but ultimately failed to garner the necessary voter approval. The community participated in re-votes all three years and passed the budget on the second attempt.
“As a District, we have been diligent in our efforts to return to a budget that supports current programming and expansion where necessary, while being careful not to pass unnecessary financial burden on to our community and managing our reserves in a way that strengthens the fiscal health of this District,” Crankshaw said. “Hard work has paid off, as the District is seeing financial stability, which ultimately results in some long overdue consistency for the taxpayers of this community.”
Other Items on the Ballot:
- TWO BOE SEATS: Voters elected William J. Stock (199 votes) and Marjorie Kline (187 votes) as write-in candidates to serve three-year terms as Board of Education members, filling expiring terms currently held by Joseph LoDestro and Patrick Oare. Another seat formerly held by Christopher Tallon will also expire this year, but will not be renewed as part of the District’s plan to reduce the overall size of the board from nine members to seven — an initiative that was approved by voters in 2021. New York State’s Department of Education approved the District’s plan to implement the change in board size over a two-year span, which calls for the District to have an eight-person board for the 2022-23 school year, and have a seven-person structure in place for the 2023-24 school year.
- BUS PURCHASE: By a vote of 570-180, voters authorized the District to purchase three 66-passenger buses and one van or suburban vehicle to replace aging vehicles and maintain the safety of the District’s fleet. The total cost is not to exceed $451,000, of which $344,721 will be paid for using the District’s Capital Bus Purchase Reserve Fund (savings). Those funds already exist, but voters needed to approve the District spending it. The balance of the bus purchase is included in the 2022-23 budget — the cost of which is offset by transportation aid that the District will receive back from New York state.
- KNOX FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT: By a vote of 572-178, the community also approved a capital project, with work primarily focused on facilities at the Knox Field. The District will spend no more than $2 million of pre-existing funds from the District’s Construction Capital Reserve Fund (savings). The funds are available for planned use, but require voter approval for the District to spend. Improvements in the project include replacing the 15-year-old turf, track resurfacing and restoration/replacement of sections of the wrought iron fence that are rusted, bent and showing overall weakness on the South Perry Street side.