The Wayne School District’s 2011 tax levy has been voted down by less than 70 votes, 2,997 to 2,928.
Donald Pavlak, Laura Stinziano, and Robin Kingston have been elected in a close race to the Wayne Board of Education. Incumbent Pavlak won 3,001 votes, followed by challenger Stinziano (2,687 votes), challenger Kingston (2,548), incumbent Darren Del Sardo (2,448), incumbent Joan Walsh (2,371 and challenger Greg Janz (1,495).
The top three vote-getters won election.
Stinziano and Kingston said that they are "excited, grateful, and honored for the chance to serve on the board."
"I will do my best to make the right decisions for our children and our taxpayers," Stinziano said.
Kingston said that the election was a confirmation that residents wanted change.
"I'm excited to work with my fellow board members. Now we have our work cut out for us and we will work very hard to prove ourselves," Kingston said. "I really believe the composition of the board is conducive to a strong, team-oriented group of individuals. It is indicative of being able to get some new ideas and positive results implemented in the district."
It will be Pavlak's third term on the board.
"Right now, with the economic situation in the state and the reduction of aid by the state, it is difficult. It's one of the challenges now," Pavlak said. "The biggest challenge is we need to find an educational leader for this district. Enough is enough. It's going to be priority number one for me, and it should be for the board, we need to, at the reorganization meeting, find a permanent superintendent."
The town council will examine the budget and recommend the district cut a specific amount and specific programs from the budget. The cuts cannot undermine the district’s ability to provide basic education or take away the district’s financial stability.
The board does not have to adhere to the specific cuts, but must adhere to the proposed dollar amount.
The board can appeal the cuts to the state board of education.
While the absentee ballots have yet to be counted, school officials said they doubted if they would significantly narrow the 69-vote margin by which the budget was defeated.