School Board Candidate Forum This Wednesday, May 10

The League of Women Voters is sponsoring a School Board candidate forum this Wednesday, May 10, from 7 to 9PM at the High School media center/library (310 Washington Ave.).

Five candidates are running for three seats on the School Board this year. The election will take place Tuesday, May 16. Information on polling sites, hours and absentee ballots is available here.


Five vie for three seats on Saugerties School Board

On Tuesday, May 16, voters across New York State will head to the polls in their respective school districts to cast votes for 2023-24 budgets, and in some cases other ballot initiatives. They will also vote for candidates to fill opens seats on Boards of Education. 

There are three open seats on the Saugerties Central School District Board of Education, with only one incumbent  running for re-election, alongside four challengers

Jeffrey RiozziJeffrey Riozzi


 Strategy Consultant — IBM Consulting

Why did you decide to run for School Board

Having been born, raised and lived the majority of my life in Saugerties, I have been fortunate to take advantage of what our community and school district has offered.  I am at a point in my life where I can give back and believe my financial and consulting background would be an asset to the board.

How do you see the role of the School Board?

At the core, I see the role of the board as ensuring that the district is being responsive to and meeting the needs of our students and parents.

What are the most pressing issues facing the school district today?  

1. Mental health — As with society as a whole, this issue continues to grow and affect a greater portion of the student body.  The district needs to act accordingly and put real, meaningful, programs in place to assist those in need.  If not addressed, the drain on resources,  both from a personnel and financial perspective, will have a negative impact across our entire student population.

2. Financial management — Saugerties is at an inflection point from a budget perspective with regards to state funding, our capital programs and reserves.  Applying the necessary fiduciary due diligence and management now could allow us to improve the overall financial picture of the district.

3. Leadership — selecting the right person to guide our district will be the key factor in determining the success of our district for the foreseeable future.

Andrea VivianiAndrea Viviani


Spanish Teacher

Why did you decide to run for School Board?

I wanted the opportunity to offer both the parent and teacher perspective to the school district. A seat at the table as a single mother of three children in the district who also taught in the district gives me a unique viewpoint that may help the district and the community strengthen their cooperative relationship.

How do you see the role of the School Board?

The School Board is an asset to the district. One that is intended to provide checks and balances, offer support and encourage a progressive mindset.

What are the most pressing issues facing the school district today?

Fiscal responsibility and school community partnership are vital to the success of the school. However, the most pressing issues for me are at the building level. Providing a strong Character Education Program at the elementary level(to support SEL needs post COVID), strengthening our reading programs and providing enrichment opportunities during the school day to our students are a few of my most pressing concerns.

Ashley SandersAshley R. Sanders, P.E.


Civil engineer and construction manager

Why did you decide to run for School Board?

My family has always believed in community service and I cannot think of a better place to volunteer than in what I consider to be the place that opens doors to children and provides opportunities for their future.

How do you see the role of the School Board?

The role of the School Board is one that ensures that policies meet all the needs of all the stakeholders and are constructed in such a way that there are clear steps to the goal of every policy.

What are the most pressing issues facing the school district today?

The most pressing issues today are the allocation of funds, the ability of creating an atmosphere of positivity and compromise, addressing the increasing diversity of needs in a district and lastly approving the most highly qualified people for the very important jobs in education.

Carole Kelder


Elementary school principal

Why did you decide to run for School Board?

I have loved my career in education, and although I have decided to retire to spend time with my family, I feel that I can continue to do what I love by serving my community as a member of the Board of Education.

How do you see the role of the School Board

 The role of a School Board is to employ and evaluate a superintendent, work collaboratively with district administration to review and set policies that are equitable, approve curriculum and submit a fiscally responsible budget for public approval.

What are the most pressing issues facing the school district today?

I think the most pressing issues that we are facing are the increase in the social-emotional needs of our students, recognizing the impact they have on academics and implementing programming or support systems that address them.

Timothy Wells.Timothy Wells (incumbent)


Territory Manager for A Montano Company

Why did you decide to run for reelection to the School Board

I feel that there is still a lot to do here. There were some significant changes during my first term. I would like to make sure we see them through.

The learning curve for a new board member is steep. Given the issues the district and community face and the knowledge I have gained over the past three years, I am prepared to tackle the issues at hand, meeting the needs of this district and community in these challenging times.

How do you see the role of the School Board?

The School Board is supposed to be the eyes and ears of the community. We need to actively listen and respond to student, parent, and faculty need. Simultaneously, a board member must be cognizant of the financial health of the district while making decisions that affect this community.

What are the most pressing issues facing the school district today

What is the mental health of our students? The COVID pandemic took a toll on our community. We need to continue to keep that at the forefront of our minds while moving forward.

Given the recent departure of our superintendent, it is imperative that the board chooses the correct candidate to lead our district. We need a clear vision, one that makes the district stronger and gives our students greater opportunity for success not only in the classroom but beyond

Saugerties Central School District budget

The Saugerties Central School District’s (SCSD) proposed budget for the 2023-24 school year is $71,192,559, an increase of $4,765,843, or 7.17 percent, over the 2022-23 spending plan. The spending plan would come with a tax levy increase of 3.96 percent, the maximum allowed by the state for the district to be able to pass with a simple majority. 

In terms of both dollars and percentages, the district will see the greatest increase in its debt service line, which will jump by 152.88 percent to $2,502,719. Debt service includes an Ulster BOCES capital project, with principal and interest on a bond anticipation note due for a July 2023 payment.

Other anticipated increases in expenditures include sports and co-curriculars (26.78 percent increase to $770,813); facilities, security and central services (11.97 percent increase to $3,841,269); technology (9.42 percent increase to $1,605,462); transportation (9.04 percent increase to $5,535,280); instruction, including salaries (4.49 percent to $34,553,763); BOCES administration and capital projects (4.15 percent to $948,014); Board of Education and central administration (3.98 percent to $1,879,780) and benefits (2.49 percent to $19,130,459). 

In order to make up a gap of $419,474, the district will use $278,110 in fund balance, $25,000 in unemployment reserve and $116,364 in ERS (employee retirement system) reserve. 

The most up-to-date budget information as of press time can be found at:$file/2023-24%20Proposed%20Budget.pdf

Polls will be open at all three of the district’s elementary schools on Tuesday, May 16 from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Candidates’ forum May 10

A candidates’ forum for Saugerties Central School Board candidates will be held on Wednesday, May 10 at the Media Center at Saugerties High School on Washington Avenue.

The forum is being presented by the Mid-Hudson Region League of Women Voters.



May 10 2023


7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
SDC Monthly Virtual Meeting
4th Tuesday of Each Month
(Except December)
Click the SDC Donkey below to request Zoom link

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Saugerties Democratic Committee