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Briarcliff Schools Budget, $10.5M Bond Both Pass

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. — Briarcliff Manor residents approved the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District's 2012-13 budget and its $10.5 million bond proposal Tuesday.

Voters passed the $47.65 million budget by 514 votes to 119. The budget will mean a 2.74 percent tax levy increase from 2011-12. The $10.5 million bond was approved 418 to 171. School officials said there are about 4,000 registered voters in the Briarcliff Manor school district. Superintendent Neal Miller said he was pleased with the community support.

“We were very gratified that people came out and voted for the budget and the bond proposition,” Miller said. “I think we’re now in a really good place to do some really great things for our students.”

The bond will pay for installation of artificial turf fields; track, field and playground equipment; interior renovations; roof reconstruction or replacement; technology improvements; and dozens of other infrastructure improvements, according to the school board’s resolution.

With both board President Guy Rotondo and Trustee Eric Bashford not seeking re-election, newcomers Dina Brantman and Michael Haberman will be the two new members of the Briarcliff Board of Education

They ran unopposed. Brantman, who served on the Ad Hoc Facilities Committee which proposed the bond, received 519 votes and Haberman 518.

“I’m very excited because I’m really looking forward to working with the talented administration and faculty in the district and to really make Briarcliff a model for educational excellence,” Brantman said, adding that she was also happy with the bond's passing. “I think it’s great for not only the children in the district but also for our community. There were a lot of things that needed to be repaired or upgraded, so I’m really looking forward to the work being started next summer.”

Haberman said he was happy to be a new member of the Board of Education.

“It was a little anticlimactic, but I was glad that we didn’t see a lot of write-in candidates, because that means people weren’t against us,” Haberman said. “I’m glad to be able to start moving forward and implementing our vision for a comprehensive K-12 education and make sure we give our kids the best education we can.”

The Briarcliff school district's budget has dropped consistently since the Great Recession, from a high of about $52.8 million in the 2008-09 school year, according to school records. With enrollment expected to decline by 33 students, per-pupil spending is set to increase from $29,766 in 2011-12 to $29,912 in 2012-13.

Rotondo said he was also pleased with the budget's passing Tuesday night.

“The budget passed very well, and it’s very exciting personally for me,” Rotondo said. “When I started as a trustee here, the budget was $52.6 (million) and this one was $42.6 (million). We’re looking at levels we haven’t seen since 2007 with the budget, and this has been a large project that I have invested in, so that’s very rewarding to see us passing it at this level.”

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