The Bronxville school administration released its preliminary 2015-2016 budget on Feb. 7. The draft budget comes within the state-mandated property tax levy cap and increases school spending by 
1.3 percent over the current year’s budget. File photo

Bronxville School budget approved; Giuffra, Murray elected

Voters in the Bronxville School district have approved a $46.2 million tax cap compliant budget by a 5 to 1 margin for the 2014-2015 school year, and, despite a strong write-in presence from Mariellen Carpenter, Dr. Mary J. Giuffra and Adele Kittredge Murray were elected to fill two vacancies on the Board of Education.

On May 20, 740 voters—more than twice last year’s turnout, according to district officials—came out and passed the budget with 547 voting in favor and 108 voting against.

The 2014-2015 budget reflects an estimated 1.65 percent increase in the tax levy, which falls under the state-mandated cap on property tax levy increases of 1.9 percent.

The estimated tax rate increase over last year’s rate is 0.61 percent which translates to a rate increase of $14.28 per $1000 of assessed value for the average homeowner in Bronxville.

This year, the district used reserves and an unanticipated influx of state aid to build the budget, which adds an extra second grade class section and a new kindergarten teacher as ways to reduce class size and control enrollment increases.

“In planning next year’s budget the Board of Education and school leaders worked hard to exercise fiscal prudence and design improvements that strengthen the learning opportunities for our students,” said Superintendent Dr. David Quattrone.

Quattrone added that, as a result of the resoundingly successful passage of the budget, “[the district is] in a position to strengthen our use of technology, add much-needed support services and manage class size.”

Bronxville School Assistant Superintendent for Business Dan Carlin said the budget’s passage by a margin of five to one is impressive, even for Bronxville.

“We’re used to favorable margins in Bronxville, but this is outstanding,” he said. “The last few budgets, I think, passed three to one. I think the increased turnout was due to the contested board seat, but we still kept a favorable ratio for supporting the budget.”

Both candidates nominated by Bronxville’s Committee for the Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees to succeed Dr. James Hudson and Pierre de Saint Phalle won their races, though Carpenter, a last-minute write-in candidate who ran a late-stage campaign, unexpectedly changed the dynamics of this year’s race.

In challenging Giuffra for Hudson’s seat, Carpenter received 280 votes to Giuffra’s 399. Adele Kittredge Murray received 622 votes to succeed de Saint Phalle.

In Bronxville, school board candidates run for a specific trustee’s seat..

Both Hudson and de Saint Phalle will leave their seats after serving two three-year terms each. Giuffra and Murray take their places on the board in July.

Giuffra, a 38-year Bronxville resident, has been a couples and family therapist for the past 40 years and has four children, all of whom attended Bronxville School.

Murray is an attorney who has lived in the village with her family since 2000. She and her husband have three children who attend Bronxville School.

Carpenter could not be reached for comment as of press time.