School Budget Voter’s Guide: Tuesday, May 19

School Vote
School budget votes are tomorrow…

Voters across the East End go to the polls to elect school boards and vote on school budgets today. On the budget front, none of the local districts are attempting to pierce the state tax levy cap, and school board races are mostly quiet, with notable exceptions in Sag Harbor, Riverhead and Southampton.

Here’s the breakdown by district:

Amagansett

The Amagansett Elementary School is proposing a $10.58 milion budget for next year, which carries a .38 percent tax levy decrease and a .68 percent tax rate decrease. Ballot propositions include authorizing a five-year contract with the East Hampton School District for seventh through 12th graders and to create a $2 millon capital reserve fund for renovations. Voting will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. in the school gym.

Bridgehampton

Three incumbents are running unopposed in Bridgehampton this year: Douglas DeGroot of Hamptons Tennis Company, bookkeeper Lillian Tyree-Johnson and real estate agent Ron White. The district is proposing a $12.8 million budget, which carries a 3.51 percent tax levy increase, but the tax rate is expected to decline 1.2 percent to $1.65 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This budget does not pierce the state tax cap. The vote will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. in the school gym. The district’s budget statement is online here.

East Hampton

In East Hampton this year, John Ryan Sr., Liz Pucci, Deme Minskoff and Christina DeSanti are vying for three seats on the school Board. The district has proposed a $66 million budget, which carries a tax levy increase of 1.62 percent. If the budget is approved, East Hampton school taxes would rise 1.35 percent to $41 for a property assessed at $6,000. Polls are open from 1 to 8 p.m. at East Hampton High School. The district budget newsletter is online here.

East Quogue

Two candidates, both newcomers, are vying for the seat to be vacated by board president Kathryn Tureski in East Quogue: PTA president Carolyn Terry and Remsenburg-Speonk elementary school teacher Christopher Hudson. The district has proposed a $23 million budget, which would carry a tax levy increase of .7 percent and a tax rate increase of .27 percent, or $29.31 per $100 of assessed valuation. If approved, taxes would rise to $11.72 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.  District voters will also be asked to weigh in on whether the district should join the Suffolk Cooperative Library System. Voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the school.

Greenport

Two incumbents are running unopposed to keep their seats: Babette Cornine and Daniel Creedon. Greenport is proposing a $16.94 million budget, which carries a tax levy increase of 2.52 percent, the absolute limit the school is allowed to raise through taxes under the state tax cap. Voting will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Greenport School.

Hampton Bays

In Hampton Bays, two seats are open this year. Incumbent Warren Booth, a mechanic for the Hampton Bays Water District, is running to keep his seat, while newcomers Michael Dunn, a builder and active community member and photographer Elizabeth Scully are also in the running. The district is proposing a $49.3 million budget, which carries a 1.6 percent tax levy increase.   Voting will be held from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Hampton Bays Middle School.

Mattituck-Cutchogue School District

Three seats are in the running in Mattituck this year. Incumbents Douglas Cooper, a farmer and longtime board member and Laura Jens-Smith are running to keep their seats, while Barbara Wheaton is seeking the seat vacated by Sarah Hassildine. The district is proposing a $40.28 million budget, which carries a 1.74 percent tax levy increase. Voting will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. at Mattituck High School, while the tax rate is expected to increase by 1.6 percent. The district’s budget statement is online here.

Montauk School

Two candidates are vying for one seat on the Montauk School Board this year: Diane Hausman and Carmine Marion Jr. The district is proposing an $18.99 million budget for 2015-16, which carries a 1.83 percent tax levy increase over last year. If approved by voters, school taxes would rise to $99 per $100 of assessed valuation. District voters are also being asked to vote on a five-year tuition agreement with East Hampton High School. Voting will be held at the school from 2 to 8 p.m.

New Suffolk  School

Jason Cooper is running unopposed in New Suffolk for the seat vacated by Brooke Dailey, who is not seeking reelection. The tiny district proposes a $1.1 million budget for 2015-16, which carries a 1.58 percent tax levy increase. Voting will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. at the New Suffolk School.

Oysterponds (Orient)

Three candidates are running unopposed for three seats in Oysterponds this year: incumbents Linda Goldsmith and Krista de Kerillis and newcomer Phil Mastrangelo. The candidate who receives the fewest votes will receive a one-year term to complete the term of Alison Lyne, who has left the district. The other two candidates will receive three-year terms. The district has proposed a $5.62 million budget, which carries a 1.62 tax levy increase and a 1.62 percent tax rate increase. Voting will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. at the school.

Quogue

In Quogue this year incumbent Anael Alston is running unopposed for one board seat. The district has proposed a $7.84 million budget, which carries a 1.17 percent tax levy increase and a 1.57 percent tax rate increase. Voting will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. in the library at the Quogue School.

Riverhead Central School District

Two seats are in the running in Riverhead this year. Incumbents Susan Koukounas and Ann Cotten-DeGrass are looking to keep their seats on the board and civic watchdog Laurie Downs, LIRR conductor Brad Harnig and business consultant Greg Fischer are looking to unseat them. Riverhead, the largest district on the East End, is proposing a $125.91 million budget for 2015-16, which carries a 3.94 percent tax levy increase, which is within the state tax cap for the district. Three propositions are also on the ballot: the first authorizes the purchase of a piece of land in Calverton for a new bus garage, the construction of a buildings and grounds maintenance building on the main campus and the demolition of the existing bus garage, which will be replaced with athletic fields. The second proposition would be to bond $1.2 million to build a turf field and the third would establish a $5 million reserve fund. Voting will be held from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in geographic zones corresponding to the elementary school your children would attend: Riley Avenue, Phillips Avenue and Aquebogue schools. Residents whose children would go to Roanoke Avenue School will vote at the Riverhead High School. More information on the district budget is online here.

Sag Harbor

Sag Harbor hosts one of the most significant school board races on the East End this year, with five candidates vying for three seats on the board. Chris Tice, print shop owner James Ding, financial advisor James Sanford, former radio producer Stephanie Bitis and Center Moriches High School government teacher Thomas Schiavoni are in the race. The $37.55 million proposed budget carries a 2.53 percent tax levy increase over last year. If approved, taxes would increase by 2.28 percent on the Southampton side of Sag Harbor and by 2.33 percent on the East Hampton side of the district. The school is also asking voters to weigh in on whether to set up a reserve fund for “unanticipated repairs to district capital improvements,” funded by unexpended funds from the annual budget. Voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Pierson High School.

Sagaponack

At the tiny Sagaponack School, incumbent Joe Louchheim is the only candidate on the ballot for the one board seat in the running this year. The district is proposing a $1.77 million budget, which carries a 2.53 percent tax levy increase, but the tax rate is expected to decrease by 3.25 percent, to $0.375 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. District voters will also be asked to weigh in on a tuition contract with the East Hampton School District for students in Sagaponack who attend East Hampton schools after the fourth grade. Voting will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the school.

Shelter Island

Two newcomers, Kathleen Lynch and Susan Binder, are running unopposed on Shelter Island because incumbents Stephen Gessner and Marilynn Pysher are not seeking reelection. The school has proposed a $10.99 million budget for 2015-16, which carries a 1.7 percent tax levy increase over this year. If approved, the tax rate would increase by 1.4 percent. Voting will be held from noon to 9 p.m. at the school.

Southampton

In Southampton, four candidates are vying for two seats on the school board: attorney and newcomer Robert Fischette; incumbent and attorney Roberta Hunter; board Vice President, Southampton Bathing Corporation manager Donald King and mom Natalie Sisco. The Southampton School District is proposing a $65.1 million budget for 2015-16, which carries a tax levy increase of 3.69 percent, but a tax rate decrease of .54 percent. This budget does not pierce the state tax cap. If approved, voters would pay $2.39 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Southampton voters will also be asked to weigh in on proposals to spent $1.14 million from the capital reserve fund for building improvements, and on whether to authorize the district to spend funds to participate in programs run by the Southampton Youth Association and the Southampton Historical Museum. Voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Southampton Intermediate School music room. More information on the school budget is online here.

Southold

Incumbent board members John Crean and Paulette Ofrias are running unopposed to keep their seats. Southold has proposed a $29.5 million budget for next year, which carries a 1.66 percent tax levy increase and a 1.66 percent tax rate increase. Voting will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. at Southold High School.

Springs

Barbara Dayton is seeking the one school board seat open in Springs this year, which is being vacated by board member John Grant. The district has proposed a $27.36 million budget for 2015-16, which carries a 1.58 percent tax levy increase. The Springs School is also asking voters to weigh in on two propositions: on the use of  money from its $2 million cap reserve fund to build a new parking lot and revamp ball fields, and on a new, five-year tuition agreement with East Hampton High School. Voting will be held from 1 to 9 p.m. at the school. The Springs School Budget newsletter is online here.

Tuckahoe

Financial planner Sean Hattrick is running unopposed to fill the one board seat up in Tuckahoe this year, after Harald Steudte decided not to seek reelection. The district is proposing a $19.1 million budget for 2015-16, which carries a 3.7 percent tax levy increase and a 3.98 percent tax rate increase. These figures do not pierce the state tax cap. If approved, voters would pay $7.70 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Tuckahoe voters will also be asked to weigh in on two propositions: to spend $54,386 to participate in the Southampton Youth Association and to pay $7,868 to participate in programs at the Parrish Art Museum. Voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the school. The district’s budget notice is online here.

Wainscott

In Wainscott, incumbent board member Kelly Anderson is running unopposed to keep her seat. The district has proposed a $3.06 million budget that carries a 2.04 percent tax levy decrease, their third year in a row of declining tax levies. Voting will take place at the school from 2 to 8 p.m.

Westhampton Beach

Four candidates are vying for three seats in Westhampton Beach: attorney and incumbent Suzanne Mensch, retired teacher Steve Wisnoski, incumbent and Boars Head distributor Joyce Donneson and Stacy Rubio, co-owner of Rubio Motors in Westhampton. The district is proposing a $55 million budget, which carries a tax rate increase of 3.5 percent, to $6.48 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Voters will also be asked to weigh in on the Westhampton Free Library budget.  Voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the large group instruction room behind the high school auditorium. More information about the budget is online here.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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