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Flynn and Hall take Hamburg School District board seats, budget passes

HAMBURG — Candidates Thomas Flynn and Cameron Hall campaigned on the promise of establishing civility in the tumultuous Hamburg School District. Based on voting numbers indicted in Tuesday's annual school board election, those in the local community are wholeheartedly throwing their belief in and support behind those two candidates.

Flynn, an incumbent candidate, and Hall, a newcomer, garnered the two board seats up for election, capturing 2,050 and 2,163 votes, respectively. Other candidates running included Candy Ditkowski, who earned 1,051 votes; Kevin Steffan, 792 votes; Andrew Loeb, 356 votes; and Gary Klumpp, 351 votes. Outgoing Board Member Holly Balaya did not seek re-election.

Additionally, Proposition 1, the district's proposed expenditure budget of $62,939,826, passed by a more than 2-to-1 margin of 2,383 "Yes" to 1,186 "No." District Director of Administrative Services Barbara Sporyz announced results from six voting machines.

Flynn, who will earn his second three-year board term, said he's looking forward to the district moving past recent tribulations, including the upcoming hearing in which a board member (Catherine Schrauth Forcucci) is facing official misconduct charges. He added that his and Hall's campaign was assisted by the efforts of those committed to bringing the board back to a well-functioning entity.

"Sometimes the best lessons to learn are to go through a wrong way and get back on track," Flynn said. "The community understands what happens (previously) when they don't pay attention to (board) elections. We'll work together and try to get things moving in the right direction."

Flynn added that he believes Hall's technology background will be a big asset to the district moving forward, as will his level-headedness and leadership.

Hall, a parent of district children, said he was cautiously optimistic entering the election.

"You can't count on anything as a given," said a relieved and happy Hall. "We brought a message of civility to the campaign. We were feeling good about getting our name and message out to the community. It starts with with dealing with the issues and getting the district back to where it should be.

"(My technology background) is to help with district efficiency and keep costs down (in regards to future spending and budgets)," added Hall.

The allowable tax levy increase for Hamburg in 2014 – 2015 had been stated 4.23 percent, equaling an anual increase of $1,419,096. The aforementioned expenditure budget represents an increase of $2,689,226 from 2013 – 2014.

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