Thursday March 13, 2014
Mackenzie and Emery to Serve on Council
Beatty and Fleming on School Board
City Budget, School Budget, and School Bond Pass
On a cold, sunny March 4, 2014 day, almost a quarter of South Burlington registered voters took to the poll to mold the future of the city.
Of the 12,534 registered voters in one of Vermont’s most populous cities, 3,055 ballots were cast (24.37 percent). Since last year, there are 118 more registered voters in South Burlington; however, the turnout was not as high as last year’s 28 percent, but it is still ranked high for voter turnout in recent years, even higher than the 2012 turnout results which neared 24 percent.
The City budget passed by 61.87 percent (1,842 votes), thus adopting the city’s FY2015 total budget of $30,636,423, $12,211,444 of which will be raised by local property taxes. The local property tax rate is estimated to increase 0.0050, or one half cent to $0.4285, a 1.18 percent overall increase. All districts voted in favor of passing the city budget.
The school budget, on the other hand, was not as clear-cut. The budget passed by a close 52.22 percent with 1,567 ballots in favor, and 1434 opposed. The approval of the budget triggers the SB School District to appropriate $44,297,927.000 for its schools starting July, 1, 2014. Although Districts 7-1, 7-2, and 7-3 voted to approve the budget, the number of votes for disapproval crept in closely. For instance, only 50 votes distanced the approval for 7-2 (498 voted Yes - 448 votes No). There was a 56-vote difference for 7-3 (293 voted Yes - 237 voted No). There was a larger difference for 7-1 with 145 votes distancing those who approved and those who did not (466 voted Yes - 321 voted No).
District 7-4, which consists of the Chamberlin School neighborhood, had the majority vote against the budget. This district narrowly voted the budget down with a 118 vote distance between those who voted Yes (310) and those who voted No (428).
On the election front, Pam Mackenzie secured the three-year City Council seat with 48.44 percent (1,427 votes) of the public’s vote. Mackenzie defeated Tracey Harrington (37 percent) and Paul Engels (14.56 percent). Voters named Meaghan Emery to fill the two year seat. Emery claimed 51.24 percent of votes (1,512 votes), defeating Michael Simoneau (48.76 percent).
For the school board elections, Julie Beatty will return for another three-year term, and Dan Fleming was elected for a two-year term. Both Beatty and Fleming ran unopposed.
Also unopposed was Donna Kinville who was re-elected for a one year term for City Clerk. Voters approved Article IV by 88.45 percent (2,535 votes) to ensure that the City Clerk’s term be three years with the term beginning in 2015.
Dennis Lutz, another unopposed candidate, was elected as the Water Commissioner.
Finally, 80.65 percent (2,430) of South Burlington voters gave School Article III the green light to use the unexpended principal amount of the South Burlington School District 2005 Series General Obligation Improvement Bond of $1,675,000 to finance capital improvements and additions to Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School, South Burlington High School, and Chamberlin school.
This year, there were 498 absentee ballots cast, and the total amount of active voters for 2014 was 10,864.
The City of South Burlington and the School District thank residents for casting their votes and encourage public activism to remain prevalent through the city’s challenges and successes ahead.
SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent