Weekly Feature

2018-05-16 / Front Page

Endorsed candidates sweep Williamsville election

Town voters approve all 2018-19 school budgets
by Keaton T. DePriest

Two incumbents and a newcomer – all of whom were endorsed by the Williamsville Teachers Association - were elected on Tuesday to serve three-year terms on the district’s school board.

Board President Shawn Lemay, current Board Member Mark Mecca and Eric Borenstein received 1,618, 1,474, and 1,416 votes, respectively, en route to being elected to the board.

Past President and current Board Member Toni Vazquez, who was not endorsed by the teachers union, garnered the least votes, with 897 tallies.

Three other challengers, Robert Campo, Dawn Fletch, and Michael Littman, received 1,104, 1,148, and 1,265 votes, respectively.

While Lemay, Mecca and Borenstein received campaign endorsements from the WTA, the triumvirate of Campo, Fletch and Littman sought election to the board in what they referred to as a “united coalition slate” to emphasize transparency, honesty, ending nepotism and providing more school safety. Each candidate on the slate formerly served as Parent Teacher Student Association presidents within the district.

In documentation sent to The Bee, Lemay said his objectives in a second term would include strengthening special education services in the district, introducing foreign languages at younger ages and modernizing music facilities through capital projects.

Mecca, who also sent campaign details to The Bee, said he intends to continue “supporting teachers and administrators as they provide excellent educational opportunities for students.”

Borenstein is a retired performing arts executive who has previously worked for the Buffalo Philharmonic. In profile information received by The Bee, the board member-elect said he intends to make sure that Williamsville “continues to be the premier community to live, work and raise a family.”

Voters in the district overwhelmingly approved the budget of about $190.8 million by a margin of 2,518 to 638 votes.

The budget is a spending increase of approximately $4.7 million from this year. The tax levy will increase by 2.24 percent.

Below are details of results in the Amherst and Sweet Home districts.

Amherst Central

In the Amherst Central District, incumbents Jeanne Ernst and Paul Steimle were re-elected to the board, garnering 452 and 463 votes, respectively. A third candidate, newcomer Lynn Errington, was elected to the board with 436 votes.

Current Board Member Paul Batt did not seek re-election to another term.

Voters passed the district’s budget of $58.5 million by a margin of 471 to 85 votes.

The spending plan is an overall increase of about $1.2 million from the current year’s budget.

The tax levy will increase by 2.54 percent.

Sweet Home Central

 In the Sweet Home Central School District, board Trustee Scott Johnson was unopposed in seeking re-election to a five-year term. He tallied 467 votes.

Sweet Home voters approved the approximately $79.4 million budget by a margin of 401 to 120 votes.

The budget represents a spending increase of $2.3 million from the current year. The tax levy increase is 2.5 percent.


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