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School vote postponed until June 1 at earliest

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GHENT–Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order released March 30 saying that school board elections will be postponed until no earlier than June 1.

The order says in part “any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is hereby postponed until at least June 1, 2020, and subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such elections.”

County school districts were scheduled to hold their budget votes and school board elections on May 19. All six school districts in the county are currently closed until April 15 and students and staff are working remotely.

A recent note to parents and guardians from the Ichabod Crane Central School District, one of the two biggest school districts in the county, says that the district “will remain closed through April 15 per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this order, our school district must continue to provide remote learning, meals for students and childcare for essential workers every weekday through April 15 even though the district is scheduled to be on spring recess during that time.” Spring break in the district was supposed to start on April 10 and run through April 17.

As for village elections, the governor originally moved those from March 18 to April 28. All four villages in county planned to hold elections in March. In Philmont and Valatie, incumbent board members are running unopposed for the open seats. In Chatham current Trustee Lenore Packet was leaving at the end of her term. There are two open seats in Chatham with two people running, newcomer Jodi Russell and incumbent Melony Spock. In Kinderhook the current mayor Jim Dunham and long-time trustee Rich Phillips are not running for reelection. Four people are running for two open seats on the board– Michael Abrams, Robert Baumeister (incumbent), James Mark Browne and Dorene M. Weir –and one person, Dale R. Leiser, is running for mayor.

The governor’s order also says, “any special election which was previously scheduled to occur on April 28, 2020 and rescheduled for June 23, 2020 by virtue of Executive Order 202.12 shall only contain the names of those individuals who had previously been qualified to appear on the ballot on April 28.”

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