Residents approve library budget, elect trustees

Library Budget 2

BY Cady Kuzmich
Gazette Reporter


Clifton Park — Residents approved a $4 million budget for the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library by a vote of 607 to 74 Thursday, September 15th.


Voter turnout was nearly half of what it was in 2012 when 1301 residents cast their votes. Voter turnout was generally on an upswing from 2006 when just 271 people voted until 2012. Over the last four years, voter turnout has dropped down to 717 in 2015 and 727 in 2016. According to the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library’s director Alex Gutelius, there are 39,036 registered voters in the library tax district.  


Clifton Park – Halfmoon Public Library’s board of trustees announced the library’s 2017 budget proposal Friday August 26. The proposed budget for the upcoming year is $4,291,416. The total tax levy is $4,164,706, which is 2.25 percent more than the tax levy in 2016.


Voters also selected four trustees out of a pool of five candidates to fill positions that expire at the end of 2016.  Two of the four seats will represent the Town of Halfmoon while the remaining two will represent Clifton Park.


Jason DiGianni, Purushothaman Srinivasan and Vincent M. DiGiulio ran for the two Clifton Park trustee seats. DiGianni and Srinivasan are both incumbents while DiGiulio is a newcomer to the race.  DiGianni and Purushothaman Srinivasan were elected to fill the two Clifton Park seats.


DiGianni, a 15 year Clifton Park resident, has spent the last year serving at the Board’s president. “I seek another term on the Board to continue my work positioning the library as the center of shared learning in our community — a place where community members can satisfy their curiosity and share their passions together,” said DiGianni.


“I worry a lot about our increasingly disconnected lives,” he added. “To be sure, the internet has dramatically increased our access to information, made communication instant and ubiquitous, and brought us together in many ways. However, that convenience and instant access has also led to a decrease in direct interaction with fellow citizens,” said DiGianni. The advantage of the library, according to DiGianni, “is that it can establish a nurturing environment to have meaningful conversations, share in learning and open up new possibilities for connections.”  


Srinivasan, a member of the finance committee, has spent the last 15 years working in the semiconductor industry in the United States. “I consciously chose to live in the Clifton Park community as this provides a great environment for the kids and the family. One of the assets that I believe this community possess is the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library,” said Srinivasan.  Srinivasan said he is passionate about education and is motivated to give back to his community. “My vision is to support and keep making the library an essential and important resource to the community for lifelong learning,” he said.


Incumbents Mark Attmore and Russell Wise ran, unchallenged, for the two open seats representing Halfmoon. Attmore, the chair of the library’s long range planning committee, has called Halfmoon home for the past six years. Wise, a Halfmoon resident of 18 years, is the board’s treasurer and chair of finance and audit committee.


In total, 11 trustees sit on the library’s board — Clifton Park is represented by seven trustees while Halfmoon is represented by four trustees. Each trustee is granted a five year term, once elected.