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Irvington Passes School Budget, Elects Grados, Montgomery

John Montgomery, left, and Robert Grados, right, were elected to the Irvington Board of Education.
John Montgomery, left, and Robert Grados, right, were elected to the Irvington Board of Education. Photo Credit: Submitted

IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Incumbent Robert Grados and John Montgomery were elected to the Irvington Board of Education on Tuesday, defeating Seth Oster and David Graeber.

Irvington voters also passed proposed $54 million budget with 61 percent of the vote. The budget would increase the tax rate by an estimated 4.85 percent, which is $1.2 million over the tax cap limit.

John Montgomery received 922 votes. Robert Grados received 793 votes. David Graeber received 676 votes. Seth Oster received 596 votes.

The budget received 1,027 yes votes and 659 no votes.

"Obviously we're really pleased the budget received the support of the Irvington community," Superintendent Kristopher Harrison said. "The endorsement of the budget today is a victory for every child enrolled in our schools and those that have the good fortune of being educated here in the future."

Montgomery has lived in Irvington for 14 years. He has a daughter attending Irvington High School next fall and a son who attended Dows Lane Elementary and Main Street Schools before heading to private school. He currently works as an economist at National Economic Research Associates, consulting on financial litigation and regulation enforcement. He previously worked at the Federal Reserve Board, the International Monetary Fund and Morgan Stanley. He served on the President's Council of Economic Advisors under Bill Clinton. Montgomery has chaired the Irvington Citizens' Budget Committee and the school district’s Budget Task Force.

Montgomery said Tuesday that the strength of the candidates running this year boded well for the district's future.

"I'm just very grateful to be chosen," he said.

Grados has been a member of the Board of Education since 2010 and has served as the School Board President for 2012-13. He is a partner at Allen & Overy LLP, an international law firm. Grados practices real estate and real estate finance law. He has lived in Irvington since 2006, and has three children in the school district attending Dows Lane Elementary, Main Street School and Irvington Middle School.

Grados said he was happy to be re-elected, but more happy that the budget passed. He called the close vote humbling.

"I'm still disappointed that more people in town don't want to support our schools," he said. "It's amazing to me. For the price of one dinner people don't want to increase their taxes to support the school district."

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