MAHOPAC, N.Y. - Voters in the Mahopac School District overwhelming passed the school budget according to results tallied Thursday morning (June 18) with 63 percent of voters casting a “yes” vote.
The $125.3 million spending package passed 3,608 to 2,083. The new budget calls for a 2.18 percent increase in spending over the 2019-20 budget.
While still awaiting word on what state aid the district will receive, school officials created a budget that calls for a 1.66 percent increase in the tax rate. Using those numbers, homeowners with a house assessed at $100,000 will see an estimated property tax increase of $40 on their bills; a home assessed at $300,000 will go up $116, and a home assessed at $500,000 will increase by about $194. The tax levy (the amount of taxes collected) also increases by 1.66 percent, which is under the state-mandated tax cap.
"Thank you to the community for their confidence in and commitment to our schools,” said Superintendent Anthony DiCarlo. “This year's vote speaks to the support of Mahopac's academics and facilities and on behalf of the school board, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to learn about this year's budget, attend a virtual community meeting and submit an absentee ballot. Today is a great day for Mahopac.”
In the race for three seats on the school board, SEPTO President Ben DiLullo, 20-year-old Tanner McCracken, and incumbent Michael Simone, the town’s highway superintendent, were the winners, while Gil McMahon finished fourth.
DiLullo garnered 3,526 votes; McCracken came in second with 3,498; Simone received 3,014 votes, while McMahon just missed the cut by 21 votes, as he tallied 2,953.
DiLullo, the top vote-getter, said he appreciated all those who voted to approve the budget.
“I am excited to begin the important work of preparing our children with every means possible to succeed,” he said. “I look forward to working with the community to make our district even better.”
McCracken said it couldn’t be understated how humble and proud he is to have won a seat on the board.
“Mahopac has spoken,” he told Mahopac News, “and it has decided that it’s time to put in a board member who will bring in a young, fresh, new perspective—a board member who has recently graduated, and is equipped with the experiences of a modern Mahopac student, prepared to tackle the issues that 21st-century students face. I am energized and excited and ready to get to work. This is not my seat on the board, that is our seat. Thank you to everyone for their support. It means the absolute world to me.”
Due to the pandemic, there was no in-person voting this year; instead, paper ballots were issued, and voters could either mail them in or drop them off at the high school. School workers counted ballots all day on Wednesday and concluded Thursday morning before announcing the results.
Voters also overwhelmingly passed the Mahopac Public Library budget by a 3,661-1,954 margin.
The 2020-21 Library budget calls for a zero percent increase in taxes and remains under the state-mandated tax cap.
Library officials said their budget reflects a decrease in spending in building contracts, computer maintenance, and library materials while maintaining a array of programming, technology, and virtual resources. There was no increase in the personnel line. An increase in the building repairs and maintenance budget line is attributed to upgrades and repairs to heating and air conditioning units within the 16-year-old facility.
Three people ran unopposed for the library’s board of directors: Stephen Baranawski, Irene Cassetta and Eugene Boesh.