“The Town of Shandaken Town Board on November 9, 2016 unanimously adopted the Final Budget for Fiscal Year 2017. Due to uncertainty concerning the outcome of the a proposal to increase the budget for the Phoenicia Library, the Town Board adopted a budget without the Phoenicia Library increase, but included a caveat where upon determination and validation of a final public vote count in favor of the budget increase, those numbers would be added and submitted to the County to be placed on the Tax Roll for January.
As of the meeting on November 9 (the day after the election) Board of Elections was reporting 634 Against and 613 In Favor with 139 Absentee Ballots (received by that date) which could not be legally counted until after a 7 day receiving period for all Absentee Ballots. As of November 16 Board of Elections had received 167 Absentee ballots. Following a counting of those ballots the vote now stands at 686 Against and 689 In Favor, BUT there are challenges being made over 39 ballots concerning the Surrogate Court race. In this case the ballots remain unopened, meaning that all the votes including those for the Phoenicia Library proposal will remain uncounted until such time as those challenges are resolved, either through negotiation of the candidates or the courts. This may not occur until Early to Mid-December.
We are required to submit our Final Budget to the County by November 21, 2016 (this Monday). Therefore the Town is submitting the Budget to the County including the increase for the Library. If the vote moves back against the increase it is easier to redact those numbers than to have a $68,000 shortfall if we do not budget for the increase and it passes.
We hope to have this resolved as soon as possible, but just wanted residents to know the facts regarding this process and the current standing of the Library Budget Proposal. As soon as we hear anything further from the Board of Elections, we will notify you as to the outcome.
-Robert A. Stanley, Town Supervisor”