White Plains residents voted in favor of the White Plains School District’s budget proposal for the 2011-12 school year.
Voters also chose to re-elect incumbents Dr. Randy Stein and Board President Rosemarie Eller to serve a three-year term on the White Plains Board of Education, starting July 1.
Voters approved the $185.5 million budget—that carries a tax rate increase of 2.67 percent or $213.90 ($.59 a day) more for the average house assessed at $15,000—by a margin of 1,345 to 521 according to unofficial results, which showed that 72 percent of voters favored the budget.
The number of voters drawn to the polls was unknown Tuesday night and will be available Wednesday when official results come in. Last year, 2,375 people voted. Polls closed at 9:00 p.m. across the city. The final tallies came in to the Education House at about 9:25 p.m.
Superintendent Dr. Christopher Clouet said a low voter turnout could be a symptom of the weather—as it was a wind whipped, rainy day—and might also be a sign of satisfaction with the "credible, reasonable budget," which he described as "responsive to the voters."
"I'm happy to see the percentage [by which the budget passed]," said Clouet.
Stein received the highest number of votes, an unofficial count of 1,345; Eller came in second with 1,147; Lori Hardy lost with 923.
Stein has served one term of three years on the board. She is an endocrinologist with an interest in diabetes at , and practices out of and Greenwich Hospital. She has three children who graduated from White Plains High School.
"I'm thrilled we [she and Eller] both won," Stein said, adding that the vote shows, "the last three years, we've done well. I want to continue the work we've been doing, and to represent each of our 7200 students. We represent all of them. I'm very happy about the fact that the budget passed by 72 percent."
Eller has served six years, or two terms, on the board. She is Associate Director at Pzifer pharmaceutical company, and has two children who graduated from WPHS.
"People understand we were working very hard to make fiscally sound, but educationally responsible budgets," said Eller. "We need to continue transparency so the community will continute to trust us."
Hardy ran for the first time and received 923 votes. She is a pharmaceutical sales care specialist for Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical company with two children in School.
"It's hard to go against an incumbent," Hardy said. "It's been a grass roots effort, that was always going to be a challenge."
The defeat "absolutely will not deter me from staying involved," Hardy said. "I'm definitely thinking about running again."
Check back with us tomorrow for the official results