June 8, 2023

Write-in candidate Caroline Jerome has been elected to the Onteora Faculty Board, besting incumbent president Emily Sherry in a vote that brings in three new trustees after a latest board resolution to shut the Phoenicia and finally the Woodstock elementary faculties.

Jerome, who was not even a candidate till ten days earlier than the election, bested incumbent president Emily at Sherry 958-889 in outcomes licensed Could 18. A depend of the 55 excellent affidavit ballots saved Jerome solidly excessive.

Jerome was a 3rd candidate added to the OPEN (Onteora Dad and mom Engaged Now) slate. The opposite two, Emily Mitchell-Marell (1183 votes) and Clark Goodrich (1179), had been seated Could 16, filling the unexpired phrases of Laurie Osmond and Bennet Ratcliff. They change trustees David Wallis and Kristy Taylor.
Jerome, a Woodstock Library trustee, will start her time period July 1. 

OPEN is against the district’s reconfiguration plan, which has set a purpose of a central campus by 2028, eliminating the necessity for the Phoenicia and Woodstock elementary faculties.

General turnout was greater than two and a half instances final yr’s, with voters forming a line the size of Woodstock Elementary Faculty in an election that usually will get someplace round 700 voters. Primarily based on votes on the funds, together with absentees, there have been 1846 this yr, in comparison with 686 final yr. 

The $61.3-million spending plan handed, 1404-462. A proposition for $8.8 million in capital enhancements handed 1535-341, and the creation of a capital reserve plan to not exceed $10 million over the following decade handed 1371-461.

There have been 887 in-person ballots solid in Woodstock, 497 from Olive and Marbletown, and 306 from Shandaken and Lexington.

There are 12,470 registered voters within the district.

Many had been angered by what they believed to be an absence of transparency and a rush to decide earlier than the election. The vote on the reconfiguration was added to the Could 2 agenda simply hours earlier than the assembly.

That night time, Sherry mentioned the merchandise had been added on the final minute as a result of the decision wasn’t authorised by the district’s attorneys till that afternoon. She requested trustees in the event that they had been in favor of delaying the vote till a future assembly, however the movement failed.

The plan additionally confronted criticism for an absence of price estimates for required modifications to different buildings to accommodate the proposed adjustments. Starting with the 2024-25 college yr, Woodstock and Bennett will change into k-5 faculties and the center/highschool will serve grades 6-12. The board not too long ago authorised transferring the sixth grade to the center/highschool.

The transition to a central campus comprising the center/highschool and Bennett Elementary and resulting in the eventual closure of Woodstock Elementary would require voter authorization of a bond.

The publish Huge win for OPEN is confirmed: Group is against Onteora closings first appeared on Hudson Valley One.