School budgets pass, Stephenson, Brunner-Collins, Calkins win Hamburg BOE seats
But the results came in late Wednesday morning and Incumbents Joan Calkins and Patricia Brunner-Collins, along challenger Sally Stephenson, won seats on the Hamburg Board of Education.
Stephenson collected 1,295 votes and Collins had 1,136. As a result, they will hold three-year terms on the board. Calkins will hold a one-year term on the board after she garnered 1,103 votes. The reason it is a one-year term is because it is to fill the remainder of a term originally held by Kelly Harper. Robert Madden was appointed to fill one year of the term last fall, but lost his bid to hold onto the seat after coming in fifth with 892 votes.
Laura Heeter finished fourth with 1,012 votes, while Tracy O’Connor Robillard had 480 votes and Ginger Taylor finished with 180 votes.
Nearly 15 minutes after the polls closed, Hamburg Assistant Superintendent Gregg Davis informed those waiting for results that there was an error in Machine number 2, and that he was calling the Erie County Board of Elections in an attempt to resolve the problem.
Despite following the instructions of the BOE, Davis was unsuccessful in his attempts to get the machine to give the results.
This led to some candidates for the school board to demand that there be a hand count of the ballots.
Davis decided to follow the standard procedure used by the BOE and sealed the machine until morning, when a person from the BOE could come out and fix the machine.
“I have to seal the lid,” said Davis Tuesday night, who attempted to retrieve the results for more than an hour.
The other three machines used at the polling place at Hamburg High School did give its results.
Achramovitch said Wednesday morning that a defective chip in the machine caused the issue. As a result, the BOE sent another machine to Hamburg and the ballots were fed back through the new machine to get the final results.
Besides the deciding on who would serve on the school board, voters overwhelmingly passed the $56 million budget for the 2012-13 school year. That was passed by a margin of 1,863-778.
Despite the error message in Machine Number 2, the other machines showed the spending plan being passed so far by a count of 1,450-598.
“I feel good about the budget,” said Hamburg Superintendent Steven Achramovitch. “We worked hard. It was a difficult process.”
The budget calls for a 4.35 percent increase in the tax levy.
Stephenson is no stranger to elections, having served as a member of the Hamburg Town Board and having run for the school board in the past.
But she said in the years she has run, she does not recall ever seeing results delayed due to a technical error.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Stephenson said.
Although she is pleased with the results so far, she was not going to declare victory until the results from Machine Number 2 are out. “I don’t say it’s over until it’s over,” she said.
Brunner-Collins is also happy to be leading, but anxious to find out the final results on Wednesday.
In other election results from Tuesday night:
Eden Central School District
Scott Henderson, Barbara Henry and Michael Byrnes were voted to the Eden Central School Board on Tuesday, with each candidate serving different terms.
Henderson, with 504 votes, was the top vote-getter and will serve a three-year six-week term.
With 470 votes collected, Henry had the second highest total and she will now serve a three-year term; while Byrnes 459 votes will allow him to serve a two-year six-week term.
A fourth candidate, Robert Reed, garnered 324 votes.
The reason the terms were all different was because one current board member, Andrew Breier, opted not to seek reelection, while two seats opened up in February following the resignations of former board members Brian Burgstahler and Patrick Howard.
Also on Tuesday, voters approved the 2012-13 $25.1 million budget by a count of 515-244. This will represent a 3.75 percent decrease from the current year’s budget.
Frontier Central School District
Passed reducing the board from nine to seven with 1,153 votes in favor with 632 against.
Passed the budget 1,325 to 526.
Passed the purchase of eight buses 1,037 to 500.
Passed appointing a high school student to serve on the school board as an ex-officion in a decisive vote of 1.168 to 406.
Lake Shore Central School District
After some failed attempts, voters in the Lake Shore Central School District approved a proposition Tuesday night for the purchase of several buses, along with a plow truck and a service truck at a cost of just over $823,000.
The district will now be able to purchase five full-size buses, two wheelchair school buses, a 30-passenger bus, as well as the plow truck and service truck. That proposition was passed by a count of 862-661.
Also on Tuesday, incumbents Jennifer Wackowski and Richard Vogan retained their seats on the board and will now each serve three-year terms after holding off a challenge Kenneth West, Wackowski collected 1,022 votes; Vogan received 833 votes; while West garnered 730 votes.
Voters in the district also passed the 2012-13 $52.7 million budget by a count of 947-581.
North Collins Central School District
Newcomer Lisa Petrus was successful in her bid to win a seat on the North Collins Central School Board Tuesday night. She will be joined by incumbent David Gier. The pair held off a challenge from incumbent Paulette Renaldo and will serve three-year terms on the board.
Gier collected 161 votes; Petrus had 154 votes; while Renaldo had 132 votes.
Voters also overwhelmingly passed the $14 million 2012-13 budget by a count of 204-64.
They also approved a proposition to purchase two new buses at a cost not to exceed $200,000 by a vote of 204-62.
All results were still considered unofficial at press time.