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Port Byron voters approve $21 million budget, elect board members

On May 17, Port Byron Central School District voters approved the district's $21 million 2016-17 budget proposal, elected two board of education members and approved two propositions. 

Voters approved:

- A $21,130,620 budget for the 2016-17 school year that increases spending 1.49 percent and carries a 1.2 percent tax levy increase: 264 yes, 145 no;

- Purchasing two new 66-passenger school buses at a total cost not to exceed $240,000: 278 yes, 130 no;

- Supporting the Port Byron Library, $55,147: 310 yes, 99 no

Voters also elected two candidates, Roger Sevilla and Christopher Recckio, for the two open board of education seats:

- Incumbent Roger Sevilla: 266 votes;
- Christopher Recckio: 368 votes;
- Theodore “Ted” Eiben: 129 votes

Each will serve three-year terms, beginning July 1. 

2016-17 Budget at a glance

Proposed budget - $21,130,620
Proposed budget increase - $311,073 or 1.49%
Proposed school tax levy - $6,050,075
Estimated school tax levy increase - $71,740 or 1.20%

Also on the ballot:

School bus (2) purchase proposition - $240,000
Two seats on the PB Board of Education
Port Byron library levy proposition - $55,147

Superintendent of Schools Neil O'Brien discusses the 2016-17 budget in his weekly electronic newsletter, eNews, on April 22. 

Read the edition below.

Dear Friends,

Once again, we look towards the annual school budget vote and board of education elections. This will be the 12th for me as Port Byron Superintendent of Schools. I have a role to play in the process, along with the school board. The school board has continued to be remarkably consistent during my years at Port Byron, and their message has remained the same throughout the past seven years. 

They have created clear budget goals for me and my team to work with, such as to create greater student learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom by improving and increasing program options, build greater professional development systems, and transform the school into a community resource. 

During the past seven years, the board has also set a direction that the work needs to be done with very little change in the tax levy. Therefore, the school district must utilize state aid, grants and find new and creative solutions to create or sustain programs and operations of the district. 

The proposed budget continues this work. We have added seventh grade our 1:1 iPad program. In addition, we will have a BOCES support person from the Central New York Regional Information Center (CNYRIC) providing support to our staff as they integrate the technology into curriculum and instruction. We also have added a full-time librarian, technology teacher and increased the number of days we will receive instructional support. The technology teacher will help up us expand into the new 21st Century learning of coding, robotics and app development. The librarian will help support literacy offerings. The increased instructional support will assist in the area of data. 

We offer more courses and extra and co-curricular activities than ever before despite having fewer students enrolled in the district. We are to do this with a remarkably small increase in the tax levy. The tax levy will rise 1.2% in the budget to be voted on in May. As a matter of fact, the true tax rate for the school district has decreased throughout the past seven years.

Sue Sealy, who has served the community with distinction for the past 15 years, has decided to step down from serving on the board and will not seek reelection this year. Therefore, we will have only one incumbent running for the two seats. The board election is critical to the success of the school district as a whole. Throughout my twelve years, I have been blessed to work with 12 community members who have sat on the board at one time or another. As a team, they have set a direction for Port Byron that has seen great growth even during the most challenging times for the county, state and country. 

Please read through the budget newsletter, attend a community budget meeting or drop a school board member or me an email to find out more about the proposed budget.

Most of all, please vote on May 17th! 



Superintendent: Neil O'Brien
Phone: 315.776.5728
Fax: 315.776.4050
Address: 30 Maple Avenue
Port Byron, New York 13140