Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

May 2, 2014

No contest in school board race

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Three candidates have filed petitions to run for the Lockport City School District Board of Education’s three open seats.

That means, unless a write-in challenge is mounted in the next few weeks, incumbent BOE Vice President David Nemi, former board trustee Jon Williams and newcomer John Craig will be elected at the May 20 election. Each of the three seats feature a three-year term.

Trustees Anthony Molinaro and R. Joseph O’Shaughnessy have declined to run for re-election, said Deborah Coder, assistant superintendent for finance and management services.

Nemi, a professor at Niagara County Community College, is seeking his fourth term on the board. He also serves as the chairman of the board of directors at Cornerstone Community Federal Credit Union.

Williams is seeking to make his return to the board after missing out in 2013. An NCCC professor as well, Williams was elected in 2007 and 2010 while serving as board secretary.

Craig, is the vice president of education and outreach at WNED-TV and works with the Lockport Services Community group.

Lockport voters will cast ballots from noon until 9 p.m. May 20. And there is a polling place change for some city residents.

For those who live in the 1st Ward, they will be going to the high school on Lincoln Avenue to cast their ballots. The change is necessary because of the closure of Washington Hunt on Rogers Avenue, where 1st Ward residents voted in the past. City School District residents who live in the towns of Lockport, Cambria and Pendleton will also vote at the high school. 

Coder said 1st Ward residents will receive a reminder in the mail about the polling place change. Voters will enter the school in the back or the southwest side of the building by the fitness center and enter into the gym nearby.

Voting machines for the towns and the 1st Ward will be separated, Coder said.

For voters in the 2nd Ward, they’ll vote at the Board of Education building, 130 Beattie Ave. Residents of the 3rd Ward will cast a ballot at Anna Merritt Elementary, 389 Green St., while the 4th Ward residents will vote at Charles A. Upson Elementary, 28 Harding Ave. and 5th Ward residents will vote at Roy B. Kelley Elementary, 610 East High St. 

If a resident is unsure where to vote, they can contact the district offices at either 478-4828.

Also on May 20, residents will consider a $86.3 million budget that is roughly $300,000 more than the current school year and raises the tax levy by the district’s cap of 2.26 percent, or $797,503 to just over $36 million. Assuming assessments and equalization rates remain the same, the levy would cause the tax rate to increase by 57 cents per $1,000 of assessed land value.

A budget hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 7 at the district offices on Beattie Avenue. Aside from the budget, residents will have a few other things to consider on the May 20 ballot in the form of three propositions.

Those propositions include allowing veterans tax exemptions, creating a capital project reserve fund and the proposed $65,000 sale of the former Washington Hunt school to the Ultimate Physique health club.

LOCKPORT CITY SCHOOLS BUDGET VOTE TIME: Polls are open from noon until 9 p.m. POLLING PLACES: For residents in the 1st Ward and the towns, Lockport High School, 250 Lincoln Ave. 2nd Ward, Board of Education building, 130 Beattie Ave. 3rd Ward, Anna Merritt Elementary,, 389 Green St. 4th Ward, Charles Upson Elementary, 28 Harding Ave. 5th Ward, Roy B. Kelley Elementary, 610 East High St.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.