How did you vote on Tuesday? If you're like most other folks in Port Chester, the answer likely came down to whether or not you have kids in school.
Port Chester residents headed to the polls Tuesday, while choosing two Board of Education members .
Like the many budget and public meetings in the months leading up to the day's crucial vote, opinions on the budget often came down to one thing: whether or not voters have children in the school district.
School officials cited declining state aid, rising pension and benefit costs for staff, and the overall economic downturn as they went through several rounds of budget talks, trimming their proposed budget version-by-version from initial estimates of more than $82 million to the $79,555,725 budget taxpayers voted on Tuesday.
While many village residents have expressed strong opinions on both sides, those opinions ultimately don't matter unless they vote, said Port Chester resident Cathy Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld had three daughters in the school district and said she was voting for the budget so school officials "maintain the level of education."
"You have to support public education," she said, encouraging others to vote. "You can't complain unless you have a voice to do so."
Zafar Iqbal expressed similar sentiments as he headed to the Port Chester Middle School gym to vote on Tuesday. Iqbal said the programs many consider "extras" are especially valuable to kids and parents.
"I want my kids to have a better education," he said. "I don't mind paying a little extra in taxes to benefit my kids."
But not everyone felt the same way. One man, who declined to give his name, said he's owned property in Port Chester for 26 years. Like others who opposed any form of budget hike, he said not enough has been done to control spending.
"I'm paying over $10,000 a year in taxes," he said, "and that's enough."
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