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Ossining Voters Mixed on Bond Passing

OSSINING, N.Y. – When Ossining resident and parent Lisa Rudley campaigned to help pass the Ossining School District ’s 2011 bond proposal, she said it was difficult to see it fail by about 500 votes.

But after district officials announced Tuesday that the $41.6 million bond proposal passed by around 630 votes, Rudley said she felt relief.

“It shows that the community really understood that these needs were necessary and the way to do it was fiscally sound,” said Rudley, who campaigned for the bond as president and co-founder of Ossining Citizens for Schools. “These were very urgent needs that will head off a lot of problems the district would’ve eventually had to pay for in the future.”

On the other side, Ossining resident Robert Little, who campaigned against the bond, wrote in an email Wednesday that he was saddened that about 3,200 district residents voted out of the 21,000 who were registered.

"On behalf of the Committee to Free Ossining Taxpayers.com, the outcome is best measured in terms of people,” Little wrote, requesting to only make a statement in an email. “Instead of a difference of 634 votes, it actually translated to a mere 317 individuals who made the swing difference. Conversely, last year the difference defeating the bond was approximately 260 individuals in our favor.”

Little added that the number represented a “small fraction” of registered voters.

“And as we stated two months ago, the middle 20 percent of the voters would determine the outcome. Sadly, the percentage of registered voters who could have voted was a small fraction of those who did. One seventh voted,” Little wrote.

Resident Emilia Rebello, who said she voted against the bond Tuesday night, summed up her thoughts quickly.

“It’s just too much money,” Rebello said. “It’s not a tax reason. But obviously someone has to pay for it right?”

Ossining resident Paul Rossney said he voted in favor of the bond Tuesday night, but questioned the district.

“It hasn’t been a positive thing for me,” said Rossney, a former PTA president. “I do think the repairs are needed but it makes me wonder why money wasn’t set aside for continual maintenance. The bottom line is the repairs have to be made, I just don’t like the procedures they seem to be using to get it done.”

Resident Liz Belitz, who said she voted in favor of the bond Tuesday, said she felt the administration handled the bond correctly.

“I felt that it was fiscally sound,” Belitz said. “The repairs have to get done one way or another and I think it’s better to do it by planning ahead than to try to do it on the back end.”

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