West Valley Voters Reject Budget and Board Chair

By Jann Wiswall

Ellicottville Central School District voters convincingly supported the board and administration’s budget proposition for the 2016-17 school year and elected two candidates to school board posts.

The vote in favor of proposition No. 1 was 215 (yes) to 34 (no), authorizing the District to spend $11,903,306 next school year. In addition, voters approved proposition No. 2, authorizing the board to lease two school buses, by a vote of 211-37.

Three candidates were vying for two seats on the school board. Incumbent Carl Calarco received the most votes (214), earning him a five-year term on the board. Calarco is the board’s current chair.

Robert Van Wicklin received the second highest number of votes (184). He will complete the three-year term that was vacated by the resignation of Michelle Cortez in May 2015.

The third candidate running for a board post, Donnald Hensel, received 81 votes.

Calarco said he thanks “our great community for their continued trust and support in me, and electing me to another term on the Board of Education. I will continue to do all I can to secure, enhance and maintain the high level of education, and associated opportunities, we are providing at ECS.

 Van Wicklin, who is vice president for advancement at St. Bonaventure University and has a child at ECS, notes that “the school is the heart of the community and I’m thrilled to be able to serve the Ellicottville community in this way.”

Both will begin their terms on July 1, 2016.

West Valley Upset

As most school districts in western New York calmly passed their budgets on Tuesday, West Valley Central School District voters turned out in record numbers and defeated a proposed $8.9 million budget.

Six hundred voters turned out to reject the measure by a vote of 271 (yes) to 329 (no). In 2015, just 254 people voted.

The WVCSD voters also voted to replace incumbent board member and current board president Michael Frascella. Timothy Ploetz earned 382 votes to Frascella’s 215. A proposal to purchase a school bus also was defeated by a vote of 288-309.

Next steps for the district, which is considering a merger or annexation with either ECS or Springville-Griffith Institute, will be reported as soon as information becomes available.