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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 22, 2010

Six vie for four seats

By Saranac Hale Spencer

VOORHEESVILLE — Facing a year likely to bring a difficult budget process, four people are running for two seats on the board of education.

Kevin Kroencke is defending his seat, Justin Brusgul is making his second run for the board, and Cynthia Monaghan and Kristine Gravino, who are campaigning together, are making their first run.  The board’s president, David Gibson, is not seeking re-election.

The Enterprise asked the candidates six questions:

Allegiance: What is the role of a school board member — who do you serve, especially in a crunch?  Students, taxpayers, parents, or teachers?

Budget: Do you support the $22 million budget proposed for 2010-11?  The budget stayed essentially flat from the previous year’s budget, but it is expected to bring a tax levy increase of just under three percent, which is far less than many districts are proposing.  Are there things that you would have liked to have seen included or cut?

Cliff year:  Next year has widely been referred to as the “cliff year” since federal stimulus funds that had filled the gap from shortfalls in state aid will no longer be available.  How should the district handle the budget next year?

Direction:  With the turnover in leadership over the last year — new building principals at all the schools, new superintendent, and coming changes for the board president and the assistant superintendent for business — where does leadership lie and in what direction do you want the district to go?

Kindergarten:  Full-day kindergarten wasn’t an issue this year in Voorheesville, but it has been considered and several other area districts have implemented a day-long program.  Where do you stand?

Improvement:  The focus is often on the schools’ accomplishments; what could be improved in the district?

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