Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham voters approve $93.6 million school budget; Cohen and Gordon defeat incumbents to win board of education seats

Annika Halvorson
Election officials count absentee ballots in the Pelham Union Free School District election after the polls closed.

The Pelham school district’s proposed $93.6 million budget was approved Tuesday by voters 1,549-445. Kathryn Cohen and Darra Gordon were elected to three-year terms on the board of education, defeating incumbents Dr. Michael Owen-Michaane and Ian Rowe.

The budget raises the tax levy by 2.68%—exactly equaling the state-set cap—while expenditures in the year beginning July 1 will increase 2.88%.

A ballot proposition to allow for the replacement of the synthetic turf at the Glover Athletic Complex stadium also passed 1,566-420. Funding for the field totaling $850,000 will come from a capital reserve; the project will not increase taxes.

Here are the vote totals for the four school board candidates, with the top two winning terms as trustees that begin July 1:

  • Kathryn Cohen: 1,138
  • Darra Gordon: 1,130
  • Ian Rowe: 895
  • Dr. Michael Owen-Michaane: 808

Owen-Michaane and Rowe each served one term as trustees and have been the president and vice president of the board of education, respectively, for the past two years.

Election results were released by the district via email at 2:38 a.m. Wednesday, five and a half hours after the polls closed and significantly later than in recent years, after election workers had to spend time counting absentee and mail-in ballots. The number who voted using those methods wasn’t immediately available. As of 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Pelham was one of only two school districts in the lower Hudson Valley that hadn’t reported results.

The new budget does not include significant expansions in programming this year because the school board is still working on completing a new five-year strategic plan, the district said in an April 16 email.

In the budget, the board allocated $2.2 million from the fund balance and reserves to keep down the tax increase and to preserve existing programs. Trustees also budgeted $2.2 million from the debt service fund to offset borrowing costs for capital projects such as the new Hutchinson Elementary School, the district email said.

The final board work session on the strategic plan is set for May 28, with July 1 the date the strategic plan should take effect for it to be in place on time.


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About the Contributor
Annika Halvorson, Senior Editor
Annika is a junior at Pelham Memorial High School. She is a senator in the student association and a volleyball player. She is the president of the PMHS Chemistry Club, and is interested in coding and computer science. She enjoyed writing for a journalism fellowship at the start of highschool and looks forward to writing with the Pelham Examiner!

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