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School vote: In Port Jeff, mixed reaction

At Earl Vandermeulen High School, Anthony Filippi, 37, got out in the heavy downpour and crackling thunder to vote in favor of the budget because he wants to keep some of the district’s unique programs intact and keep class size small — the “things that make this district a little different than others in the area.”

But one resident voted against the budget for both practical and philosophical reasons. He is unemployed. And he said he couldn’t give his name because his “wife would throw me out of the house” if she knew he voted no.

“The whole American culture is about overspending and living beyond our means,” he said.

Margaret Zavala was unsure how she would vote, and wanted to read the literature first. “It’s getting harder to make ends meet,” she said, adding that she has a granddaughter in the district. “But the education here is great, and it’s a close-knit community. I want it to stay that way.”

The proposed budget of $37,354,521 is the same amount as the current budget. The tax levy would rise by 8.2 percent.
 

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