Voters Approve Pawling School Budget

Burka, Klein Elected to Board of Education

On Tuesday, May 15, Pawling residents voted to approve the $37.6 million school budget and elected two new members to the Board of Education for the Pawling Central School District. Earlier that day, a series of tornados and microbursts swept through the surrounding areas, causing widespread power outages, including Pawling Elementary School where the budget vote was being held. However, district officials were undeterred, powering the polling station by generator.

Complications brought about by the inclement weather resulted in a lower voter turnout than previous years. Ultimately the budget for the 2018 – 2019 passed with 422 votes in favor and 109 against. The new budget represents a tax levy of $28,679,740, a 0.23% increase from the previous year. Officials cited employee health benefit costs and special education expenses as the main reasons behind the increase. Funds will also be used to increase security to school buildings district wide beginning this summer.

In addition to the approval of the budget, the May 15 vote would also see the election of two new members to the PCSD Board of Education. Deborah Klein received 361 votes and Karen Burka tallied 341 votes respectively, while Chris Clowry received 240 votes. Klein and Burka will each serve three-year terms.

Karen Burka commented on her appointment, saying, “I am grateful to the many people who supported me – the parents and school district staff who know me through my work on the PTA or Health & Wellness, as well as the people who came to Meet the Candidates Night or watched the video online to find out more about me. I look forward to working with the other members of the Pawling School Board to continue to grow our educational excellence and strong financial management.”

Deborah Klein also expressed gratitude for the support she received during the election. “Thank you everyone who was able to come out and vote,” she said. “I’m so pleased to be able to represent you on the School Board. I am looking forward to a great three years supporting the schools and community.”

Overall, district officials were pleased with the voting results and are now casting an eye to the continued success of the Pawling Central School District. “I am thankful for the very strong support of the Pawling voters for the school budget presented by the Board of Education,” said PCSD Superintendent William Ward. “I look forward to working with our new Board members, Karen Burka and Deborah Klein, and I’d also like to thank Chris Clowry for his willingness to serve the community.”