The North Shore School District’s budget of roughly $115.9 million passed on Tuesday, with 2,204 votes for and 1,626 votes against. Additionally, voters have re-elected Board of Education incumbents David Ludmar and Marianne Russo, and elected challenger Lisa Cashman, an active volunteer in the community.
Current board president Ludmar received the most votes among the candidates with 1,980, while fellow incumbent Russo and challenger Cashman won 1,914 and 1,919 votes, respectively.
The school budget includes a spending increase of over $1 million for instruction, a decision made to maintain the quality of instruction that North Shore provides, according to the administration. Another major expenditure will be the replacement and repair of the basketball court, which will run the school roughly $500,000.
Other provisions include an increase in the debt service budget upwards of $550,000, a 12.6 percent increase from this year. The debt service line item in the budget is allocated to pay off outstanding debt from the district, of which North Shore had a balance of over $22.6 million at the end of the 2020-21 school year.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Thomas Dolan expressed how happy he was to see the budget pass, and so many people prticipate in their local election.
“I’ve said it before, a school board vote is the purest form of democracy there is,” Dolan said the evening of the election. “I am thrilled that this budget has passed, and just delighted with the overall community response.”
The election winners also spoke to the Herald the morning after the election, expressing their thanks to the community and congratulations to their fellow trustees-elect.
“Congratulations to Dave and Lisa on their election. Thank you to all the candidates who had the courage to run for office,” Russo wrote in a statement. “Thank you to the community for supporting the budget and my candidacy. I will do my best to continue to serve all constituencies in this fine District.”
“Serving on the school board isn’t about the volunteers, but the children and community we’re working for. I’m glad the voters recognize and trust my leadership and approved the budget decisively,” Ludmar wrote in a statement. “I congratulate Ms. Cashman and Ms. Russo on their election, as well as the other candidates and countless community volunteers who stepped up and drove a big turnout. Elections are the sacred keystone of our democracy.”
“I’d like to express my deep gratitude to the North Shore community for supporting our schools by passing our budget and electing me to represent you on the Board of Education for the next three years,” Cashman wrote in a statement “I am eager to get to work to serve our community and welcome the opportunity to meet, listen to, and learn from even more of you in the coming weeks and months.”