Unprecedented vote due to COVID-19

East End School Budgets Pass By Wide Margins




With an unprecedented statewide vote by mail and delays due to COVID-19, most local school district’s budgets passed by fairly wide margins and with a higher than usual number of votes.

While the vote was originally rescheduled for June 9, an order by Governor Andrew Cuomo in the days before the election meant districts had to wait until June 16 to receive and count the ballots. The absentee ballots were tallied at schools across the East End on Tuesday evening — by those wearing masks and in some instances while being live streamed on YouTube or district websites. Here are the results, district by district.

Amagansett

The Amagansett School’s budget passed as expected 268 to 53.

Voters also said yes to two propositions. In a 299 to 18 vote, they approved tuition payments to East Hampton High School for a five-year period, with increases tapped at two percent a year. A second proposition to use $350,000 from a capital fund for a new playground passed 249 to 71.

Meredith Cairns was elected to the board with 205 votes, and incumbent Kevin Warren was reelected with 189 votes. Kimberly Slicklein was not elected with 156 votes.

Bridgehampton

The nearly $19 million budget passed 262 to 102. The incumbents, Kathleen G. McCleland and Markanthony Verzosa, were reelected with McCleland receiving 328 votes and Verzosa taking in 248. A third candidate, Michael Gomberg, received 121. There were also five write-ins for five individual people.

East Hampton

In a 962 to 240 vote, the $71.98 million school budget passed easily Tuesday night. A proposition to use the Capital Reserve Fund passed 882 to 280.

Three people ran for two seats on the board, but ultimately the two incumbents held onto their seats. Jackie Lowey took in the most votes with 874, followed closely by John Ryan Sr.’s 856 votes. George Aman, a former board member, fell short with 426 votes.

Eastport/South Manor

At about 10:45 PM, the tally was finalized at the Eastport/South Manor School District, where 4238 voter were received. The $97.11 budget passed 2682 to 1417. Cheryl Hack, the board president, and board member Jeff Goldhammer and were both reelected with 2553 and 2012 votes respectively. A third candidate, Renee Pastor, received 1890 votes.

The library budget, also included on the school ballot, passed by a wider margin of 3172 to 918.

East Quogue 

There was no problem at all with passing the $26.2 million budget in East Quogue, where 1077 ballots were cast in favor and 332 were cast against. Kristin Jankowski will serve another term having received 842 votes. Kristina LoRusso was elected to the five-person board with 641. Joseph Sanicola also ran and received 483.

The library’s $674,163 budget also passed 1120 to 274.

Greenport 

The school board floated a $19.43 million budget, which passed 552 to 242. Kirsten Droskoski, the vice president of the board of education, received 490 votes.

Hampton Bays

Voters passed a $55.21 million budget, 1633 to 683. A proposition for repairs to facilities received even more support, passing 1782 to 513. Dorothy Capuano, the only person running for a single seat, received 1981 votes. 

New Suffolk

The small school district’s budget passed 103 to 5. Tony Dill ran unopposed and received 100 votes. There was one write-in vote and 8 abstentions.

Mattituck-Cutchogue

The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s budget vote and propositions were still incomplete late Tuesday night. According to a message on the board’s website, the count will resume on June 17 at noon. A new live link will be posted in the morning.

Montauk

Voters overwhelmingly approved a $20.87 million budget by a 496 to 81 vote. A proposition to approve sending high schoolers to East Hampton High School — up nearly 12 percent in a new five-year contract —passed 539 to 36. Diane Hausman was reelected with 543 votes. Jason Biando, Heather Payne, Jeff Hildreth, and Georgia Flight all received one write-in vote each, and Andy Harris received two.

Marylin Levine and Richard Sheckman were voted to the Montauk Library board, 494 to 388. Three names were written in as write-ins.
Quogue

Results were not yet available.

Riverhead

With a large number of absentee ballots for the Riverhead Central School District budget vote and election, the counting of the ballots was suspended Tuesday night. It will continue on Wednesday.

Sagaponack

One hundred and five voters approved a $1.7 million budget. Just six people voted against it, and four abstained. Thomas Schultz was elected in a 92 to 2 vote.

Families will be able to decide whether to send their children, in grades 4 to 12, to the Bridgehampton, East Hampton or Sag Harbor school districts, as voters approved each proposition on the ballot. In a 102 to 5 vote, voters approved the East Hampton elementary school contract, and the high school contract. The Sag Harbor contract was approved in a 106 to 3 vote, and the Bridgehampton contract was approved 95 to 13.

Sag Harbor

The Sag Harbor School District’s 2020-2021 school budget of $44.33 passed 1325 to 645. Voters also approved the district purchase of a new school bus, 1335 to 621.

Alex Kriegsman, the Sag Harbor School Board’s vice president, was reelected with 1127 votes, and Brian DeSesa was also reelected with 1155 votes. Sandi Kruel, who had been a longtime member in years past, will return to the board once again, having received 1151 votes. Other candidates, Ronald Reed and Helen Roussel, received 891 and 810 votes respectively.

Shelter Island

Shelter Island’s $12.15M budget was okayed 647 to 193. Two propositions were also approved. The first, authorizing a repair reserve, passed 696 to 141, and the second authorizing use of the Capital Reserve Fund passed 772 to 70.

Three people ran for three seats. Robert Strauss received 734 votes, Dawn Hedberg got 719 and Tracy McCarthy took in 716.

Southampton

It was a late night for those counting the ballots in Southampton. Just before midnight, the results were announced.  The $72.86 million budget passed 1406 to 625.

Two incumbents were reelected. Anastasia Gavalas received 1406 votes and James McKenna got an even 1500.

Voters also approved certain capital improvements, including renovations to the HVAC rooftop unit at Southampton High School, security access upgrades district wide, and other items — all the tune of $2.5 million from the 2007 Ten Year Capital Reserve Fund. The vote was 1583 to 456.

Voters also said yes to spending $416,500 for the Southampton Youth Association recreation program, in a 1526 to 515 vote.

Also approved was a proposition to pay $245,000 to the Southampton Historical Museum in a 1383 to 666 vote.

Lastly, the proposition to authorize the board to contract with the Parrish Art Museum in the amount of $381,969 passed 1306 to 725.

Southold

The $30.3 budget was approved 1170 to 393. Two incumbents were reelected to the five-person board. Scott Latham received 1308 votes, and Brian Tobin took in 1270.

Springs School

The Springs School budget, just over $27 million, was approved, 729 to 319, according to principal Eric Casale. Voters also said yes to the district buying a new school bus.

Tuckahoe

Voters in Tuckahoe approved a $22.2 million budget in a 277 to 165 vote. They also say yes to the board to use $697,232 from the Capital Reserve Fund to complete projects, such as the gym floor replacement, staff parking lot renovations, HVAC renovations to boiler and heating system, and more, approved 316 to 121.
A third proposition authorized the established of a Capital Reserve Fund, to be known as the “Facilities Improvement Program 2020.” It was approved 279 to 155.
Voters also approved, 303 to 139, to pay $56,650 for the district’s participation in the Southampton Youth Association. A fifth and final proposition for the district to pay $9,500 for the district’s participation in the Parrish Art Museum also passed, 297 to 144.
Robert E. Grisnik was reelected to a three-year term with 338 votes.

Wainscott

For the second year in a row, Wainscott voters okayed the board piercing the tax cap, 73 to 36. The $3.7 million budget required a supermajority — 60 percent — in order to pass.

Westhampton 

The budget passed 927 to 314. The incumbents were also handily reelected. Joyce Donneson received 1050 votes and Suzanne Mensch received 1075.

The second proposition on the ballot for the library budget also passed 895 to 348.  

taylor@indyeastend.com