MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – In a surprise twist, the Mount Vernon School Board budget passed by 20 votes after preliminary reports had it failing by a similar margin.
It took a day to tally the results, but the community gave the much-maligned district a reprieve, passing the budget 862-842 according to school board Clerk Akia Shangai.
The difference was 26 affidavit votes, which turned a near-10-vote deficit on Wednesday morning into a 20 point victory on Wednesday afternoon.
The $224 million spending plan features a .75 percent increase in the tax levy. The school board and school officials worked for weeks after the budget failed in May to reduce the original proposal by $1.1 million.
The effort to pass the budget was further buoyed last week when members of the Mount Vernon Federation of Teachers volunteered to relieve some of the financial burden on the district by agreeing to a salary stop freeze and to contribute more for health insurance benefits.
Voter turnout was disappointing for both elections, with approximately 1,700 of 36,000 registered voters coming out to the polls.
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