Livonia school vote fails by wide margin
LIVONIA, NY — “The voters spoke loud and clear,” said Livonia Central School Superintendent Scott Bischoping after a capital project referendum failed to pass with a vote of 547-200.
The school district will now begin to look at exit polling to determine where support for specific items in the bond package still exist — and where that support faltered. A first look at the poll data points to three areas of concern, says Bischoping.
First, voters are worried about the economy — as unemployment continues to rise and wages lag behind cost of living.
Second are concerns about the reliability of state funding, especially following Monday’s announcement from Governor Davud Paterson that the state will be holding back $750 million in school and municipal aid to cover a mid-year shortfall.
“Had the legislature made the cuts this year that the governor asked them, we wouldn’t find ourselves in this situation,” believes Bischoping. “This is a problem that needs to be resolved between the legislature and the governor. Meanwhile, school suffer the fallout from that.”
The third voter concern were projects in the capital proposal that go beyond repair and maintenance of the existing school buildings. A high school greenhouse, tennis courts and other additional projects were mentioned in the exit poll forms.
The largest item in the proposal was replacement of the primary school roof, a project that still needs to happen. How that project is funded now rests in the hands of the school board.