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Pelham School Budget OK'd; Recca, Smith Elected

PELHAM, N.Y. – The 2012-2013 Pelham school budget passed with 72.9 percent of the vote Tuesday and Madeline Smith and Michael Recca were elected to two seats on the board of education.

The announcement of the approval of the $65,560,607 budget , which features a 2.6 percent tax-levy increase and was supported by Recca and Smith, came in front of nearly 50 people in the Pelham Memorial gymnasium. The crowd erupted in applause after board of education President Robert Eicher read the results.

The tally was 1,005 for the budget and 372 against, according to unofficial election results. Eicher said he was excited the budget passed and that he “knew the Pelham community was behind us.” There was chatter amongst Pelham residents that the budget could be defeated due to the class size issue, but that was not the case.   In the school board race, unofficial results announced by school officials Tuesday night show that Smith finished with the most votes – garnering 1,152 – and Recca finished second with 839 votes. Paul Prencis was third with 461 votes and Christine Rosskopf received 396 votes, according to the unofficial tally. Smith and Recca will replace Eicher and board member Doug Hearle, who did not seek reelection. However, he and Doug Kelly had two write-in votes apiece.

Smith said she was thrilled to be elected and is looking forward to working with Recca. She also thanked her fellow candidates.

“I enjoyed getting to know Christine, Paul and Mike,” said the nine-year Pelham resident. “I hope they’ll keep talking – they have a lot of great ideas.”

The mother of a first-grader at Colonial Elementary as well as a daughter in college who went through the Pelham school system said she is ready to make a difference.

Recca, a lifelong Pelham resident and 2006 graduate of Pelham Memorial, said he was happy and excited to be elected to the board. However, his mind was focused on the just-passed budget before talking about his victory.

“I’d like to first say thank you to the Pelham community for passing the budget overwhelmingly,” said  Recca, an employee of the Westchester County Department of Social Services. “It shows the great faith the Pelham community has in our school system – got a 73 percent margin.”

He also thanked Rosskopf and Prencis “for running a fair, honest, issues-oriented campaign.” He encouraged them to both stay involved in our community.

Paul Prencis, a father of twin boys in first grade at Prospect Hill Elementary School and a third son entering the school in September, said “there’s always next year.”

“It was a good campaign,” said the Eastchester High and Middle School mathematics teacher. “I made a lot of friends along the way and it was definitely a great experience.”

Rosskopf, a lawyer and mother of two at Siwanoy Elementary School, said she appreciated the support of all those who voted for her and also offered a congratulations to Smith and Recca.

“I wish them the very best as they begin their work on the board,” said Rosskopf.

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