The New City Library budget for the 2014 fiscal year passed by more than a two to one margin in Wednesday’s vote. Voters returned one trustee to the board for another term. Edward Kallen was re-elected along with new trustees Victor Berger and George Jacobson.
The unofficial vote totals were: 625 for Kallen, 622 for Jacobson and 616 for Berger. The other three candidates were Christian Cortelli, who received 339 votes, Terence Mulgrew, who received 342 votes, and Cecily Cohen, who got 329 votes.
The unofficial tally was 653 votes in favor of the budget and 284 votes against it for a total of 937. That was an increase of 240 votes over last year. All four election districts voted in favor of the for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2013 and ending June 30, 2014 by wide margins. The unofficial results are:
- District 1 with 291 yes votes and 136 no votes
- District 2 with 48 yes votes and 26 no votes
- District 3 with 199 yes votes and 86 no votes
- District 4 with 115 yes votes and 36 no votes
The Clarkstown School District runs the budget vote and the library is responsible for the trustee election. Lilyane Lorusso, school district clerk, oversaw the budget and count. The unofficial budget results were available in less than a half hour.
Lorusso said people must have voted in an election within the past four years to be eligible to vote in the library election. There were some reports of people having difficulty voting, including Aney Paul, a former trustee and current county legislator.
“This election there were a lot of issues,” said Joseph Reiter, president of the library board of trustees, adding he is going to ask the board to appoint a committee to look into it.
The manual count of the trustee ballots began around 9:30 p.m. However an interim check of the vote count determined a large discrepancy between the numbers recorded by the two staff members and a recount began at 10 p.m.
Interim Library Director Marianne Silver read the names from the ballots; Reiter confirmed them and the two staff members tracked the votes for each candidate. In addition to trustee candidates, a small group of staff, board members and community members attended the vote count, which lasted until after midnight.
Kallen and Berger, who left shortly before the unofficial totals were announced, were pleased with their wins.