Hornell, N.Y. --- Imagine if a defending state championship football team didn’t play a single game the next year?
That could happen in Hornell where the Red Raiders sports teams help shape the community’s identity. Following Tuesday’s school budget vote the future of Hornell’s athletic teams, field trips, and all extracurricular activities remains very uncertain.
The budget vote was unique in this first year of New York State’s Property Tax Cap Law. School Superintendent Doug Wyant Jr. offered up two budget propositions on the ballot and each needed 60% approval from voters.
The first proposition was a stand alone operating budget proposal totaling about $32.9 million and funding virtually all of the district’s “classroom” operations. That proposition passed with nearly 68% of the vote.
The second proposition totaled $468,100 and would fund all of the district’s athletic teams, extracurricular activities, and field trips. Despite a majority of support the 55% vote total wasn’t enough to pass the 60% threshold needed.
Superintendent Wyant tells 13WHAM News that he’ll review feedback he gathered during exit polling, explore options with board members, and likely present an alternative proposal to voters on June 19th. Again a 60% majority would be needed for it to pass.
"The people that I talked to said well I voted against it because I knew that they would put it up for a vote again and take a little bit off,” longtime Red Raider supporter Bill Ormsby said.
"It is a motivation for my son, who's in 7th grade, it motivates him to do well in school,” said Kolleen Dunn a parent of three boys who play sports for Hornell. “If he doesn't have those athletics I'm a little nervous as to how well he's going to do…he pretty much told me that he was going to transfer schools so we got to get that under control."
"It scares me I mean sports are a big part of Hornell obviously with the football team and everything and music is too,” Liz Hover a Hornell Sophomore said. “We (choir) just came home from Boston with first place in all of our categories and it's sad to see that it might all go next year.”
"The musical will be cut and that's a big thing,” Tyler Warriner a Hornell senior said. “I've been in musical since 5th grade and that's something where I want to come back and see the other students perform in them…and also jazz choir is also going to be cut.”