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Decision No. 12,597

Appeal of DAYLE QUARFOT on behalf of Amy Quarfot and Mary D'Alessandro from action of the Board of Education of the East Rochester Union Free School District relating to a transportation proposition.

Decision No. 12,597

(October 29, 1991)

Nicholas Morabito, Esq., attorney for respondent

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioners appeal from a determination by respondent not to place a proposition authorizing the provision of transportation on the ballot for a special district meeting. Petitioners request that I issue an order directing that respondent place the transportation proposition before the voters for decision. Petitioners' request that I stay the vote of the special district meeting scheduled for June 12, 1991, was denied. The appeal must be dismissed.

On May 8, 1991, respondent held its annual district budget vote. Eleven propositions were placed before the voters, and nine of those eleven propositions were defeated. Among those defeated was a proposition to fund interscholastic sports, a proposition to authorize public use of facilities, and a proposition to transport students in grades kindergarten through fourth who live over 1.2 miles from the school they attended. District residents petitioned respondent to place a sports proposition, the facilities proposition, as well as another transportation proposition up for another vote. By a vote of 3 opposed to 2 in favor, respondent rejected the request to place transportation up for another vote. The other two propositions were approved for resubmission to the voters. It also appears from the record that a prior proposition to bus all students in grades kindergarten through eighth who live more than 1.5 miles from the school they attended was defeated by a vote of 251 in favor and 792 opposed on December 19, 1990.

Petitioners contend that respondent's decision not to resubmit the May transportation proposition to the voters was arbitrary and capricious. Petitioners argue that the propositions defeated in December and May were sufficiently different, in terms of the students and distances included, to require respondent to resubmit the proposition which was defeated in May to the voters for another vote. Respondent contends that since similar transportation propositions have been defeated twice in a period of five months, it was not arbitrary or capricious to decline the request to resubmit the transportation proposition to the voters.

Based upon the record before me I cannot conclude that respondent's determination was in any manner arbitrary or capricious. Once a matter has been properly presented to the voters and voted on, a board of education is not compelled to entertain a petition to resubmit the same or an essentially similar proposition to the electorate for re-vote (Matter of Morrill and DiBiase, 10 Ed Dept Rep 247; Matter of Eaton, 11 id. 17). Since I find that the matter of transportation has been adequately presented to the voters for their consideration, respondent's decision not to place the same proposition before the voters again is not arbitrary and capricious and the appeal must be dismissed.