Voters across New York State will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 21, to vote in local school board races and weigh in on district budgets.
On the East End, only the Wainscott School District is asking voters to pierce the state’s 2-percent spending cap, while the Bridgehampton School District, which is beginning the process of paying for a voter-approved $29 million expansion project, will see the largest spending increase, nearly 14.5 percent.
Each district controls its own voting hours, so residents should check with their district to make sure to get to the polls on time.
East Hampton Town
Amagansett has proposed a $10.9 million budget, up about 1.5 percent from the current budget. Five candidates are seeking three seats on the school board. Two incumbents, Kristen Peterson and Hank Muchnic, as well as Anna Bernasek, who was appointed last year, are running again. They will be joined by Mary Eames, a frequent critic of the district’s spending practices, and Matthew Feyh.
In East Hampton the total budget is $70.9 million, an increase of 1.58 percent. Incumbents J.P. Foster, the board’s president, and Wendy Geehreng are seeking reelection to new terms. Jeffrey Erickson and Sandra Vorpahl will challenge them.
Two incumbent school board members, Thomas Flight and Nicholas Finazzo, are running unopposed in Montauk. Voters will also be asked to approve a $19.4 million budget, which carries a $416,375 decrease.
In Springs, the proposed $28.9 million budget represents a 2.8-percent increase. Two members of the school board, Amy Rivera and David Conlon, are being challenged by Deborah Goodman and Joseph Sullivan.
Wainscott, one of the smallest school districts in the state, will ask voters to allow it to pierce the spending cap with a $3.3 million budget, about 18 percent over last year’s spending plan. William Babinski is running unopposed for school board.
In Bridgehampton, voters will be asked to approve an $18.7 million budget that carries a 14.5-percent spending increase but remains within the state’s 2-percent spending cap. The reason? The budget includes the first installment of the debt service, about $1.1 million, which is exempt from the cap, for a $29 million expansion that will double the size of the existing school.
Five candidates are running for two seats on the Bridgehampton School Board. Incumbents Jennifer Vinski and Michael Gomberg are seeking another term and will be joined on the ballot by Angela Torres Chmielewski, Randall Davis, and Carla Lillie.
Residents of East Quogue will be asked to vote on a proposed $25.9 million budget, which carries a 2.45-percent spending increase.
There will be three other propositions to vote on. One asks voters to approve a $689,114.06 library budget. Another proposition would establish a $500,000 capital reserve fund for various infrastructure projects. The third calls for approval of the tuition contract to send students in grades 7 through 12 to Westhampton Beach.
School board vice president Jessica Stalters and member Dianna Gobler are running unopposed for reelection.
Hampton Bays residents will vote on a $54.3 million budget, which is up 3.2 percent over last year.
Voters will also be asked to approve the creation of a $5 million capital reserve fund as well as another proposition allowing the expenditure of $300,000 for miscellaneous repairs. Board president Kevin Springer and vice president Richard Joslin are running unopposed for re-election.
The Quogue School District is seeking approval of an $8.7 million budget, which carries a nearly 5 percent spending hike. In addition to the budget, residents will be asked to vote on the $956,040 proposed Quogue Village Library budget. A third proposition would allow the district to allocate $200,000 to its repair reserve fund. Voters will also be asked to approve the expenditure of $160,000 from the capital reserve fund for a proposed learning space creation project. A final proposition would authorize the district to continue its tuition contract with the Westhampton Beach School District.
Three incumbents, president Lauren Battista, vice president Barbara Sartorius, and member Steve Failla, are seeking reelection. They will be joined on the ballot by Paul Bass.
Remsenburg-Speonk residents will be asked to vote on a $14.3 million budget that carries a 2.9-percent tax levy increase but a projected dip in the tax rate.
There are also two other propositions up for vote. One authorizes the district to contract with Westhampton Beach and Eastport/South Manor for the education of students in grades 7-12. Another authorizes the district to contract with Suffolk Cooperative Library System $289,864.26.
Board of education incumbents John Barry and Kevin Toolan are running unopposed.
The proposed budget for the Sagaponack School District, which sends high school students to Sag Harbor and East Hampton, is $1.5 million, less than 1 percent above last year’s total. School Board member Cathy Hatgistavrou is running unopposed for another term.
There are six candidates seeking three openings on the Sag Harbor School Board. Incumbents Chris Tice and Brian DeSesa will be joined on the ballot by Julian Barrowcliffe, Caleb Kercheval, Thomas McErlean, Yorgo Tsibiridis.
Voters will also be asked to approve a $42.9 million budget that represents about a 2.4-percent spending increase and a separate proposition to spend $103,524 for a new school bus and $74,922 for a Chevrolet Suburban.
In Southampton, voters will be asked to approve a $71.9 million budget, which is about 2 percent above last year’s budget. Several propositions will also be on the ballot, including one that would extend the life of the district’s capital reserve fund, one that would allow the expenditure of $1.8 million from that fund for heating and air conditioning upgrades in district buildings; and one that would authorize the expenditure of $380,000 for three new buses.
Voters will also be asked to approve a $404,314 contract with the Southampton Youth Association, and a $235,000 contribution to the Southampton
Four candidates are running for two openings on the school board: Donald King, Meesha Johnson, Leslie Duroseau, and Charles Styler.
A $21.8 million budget that carries just under a 3-percent spending increase will be put before voters in the Tuckahoe School District. Voters will also be asked to approve an $8000 contribution to the Parrish Art Museum and a $55,000 contract with the Southampton Youth Association. Timothy Gilmartin is running unopposed for the one seat on the district’s school board.
Residents of the Westhampton Beach School District will be asked to approve a $58 million budget that carries a 1.6-percent spending increase. Voters will also be asked to approve a $2.3 million library budget.
Stacy Rubio is running unopposed for the one opening on the school board. Incumbent James Hulme has chosen to not run again.
On The North Fork
Spending will rise by just over 2 percent in Greenport if voters approve the proposed $19.4 million budget, which is up by about $423,000 over last year. Newcomers Sandy Martocchia and Kimberley Moore Swann are running unopposed for school board to replace incumbents Christina Volinski and Heather Wolf who are not seeking reelection. Voting takes place from 2 to 8 PM.
If voters approve a proposed $40.7 million budget in the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District, spending will remain nearly flat, rising by only .26 percent.
Voters will also be asked to approve two additional propositions. One would use $1.9 million from the capital reserve fund for a number of security upgrades and new air conditioning in the Mattituck Junior/Senior High School and Cutchogue East Elementary School cafeterias, while the other would use $1.6 million from the reserve fund to install a synthetic turf field at Mattituck High School.
Two seats are open on the school board. Incumbent Sarah Hassildine is seeking reelection and will be joined on the ballot by Jennifer Anderson and George Hasse.
Longtime incumbent Joseph Polashock will run unopposed for another term on the New Suffolk School Board. Voters will also be asked to approve a $1,010,378 budget, a substantial 27-percent decrease over last year. Voting takes place at the school on 4th Street in New Suffolk from 3 to 9 PM.
Three board seats are open in the Oysterponds School District. Incumbents Dorothy Dean-Thomas and Thomas Stevenson will be joined by newcomer Miriam Foster in seeking three-year terms. Incumbent Krista de Kerillis is stepping down. Voters will also be asked to approve a $5.8 million budget, which carries a 0.26-percent spending increase. Voting takes place in the school gymnasium from 2 to 8 PM.
Two incumbent board members, Laurie Downs and Elizabeth Silva, are seeking reelection to the Riverhead School Board. They are being challenged by Jerome Bost and Matthew Wallace, who are running as a team. Voters will also be asked to approve a $144.4 million budget that carries a 2.9 percent spending increase. Polls are open at Riverhead High School from 6 AM to 9 PM.
Incumbent School Board member Sarah Hassildine is seeking another term and will be joined in the battle for two seats by newcomers George Haase and Jennifer Anderson. Voting takes place in the high school gym from 3 to 9 PM.
Southold School Board member Judi Fouchet, who has served since 2004, is running unopposed for another term. Voters will also be asked to approve a $30.6 million budget that carries a 2 percent spending increase over last year’s $29.9 million budget. Voting takes place from 3 to 9 PM at the high school.
Shelter Island voters will be asked to approve an $11.9 million budget that carries a $200,000 spending increase over last year’s $11.7 million budget. Three candidates are vying for three openings on the school board including incumbent Jason Lones and challengers John Klupka Sr. and Katharine Rossi-Snook. The top two vote getters will serve three year terms, while the candidate in third place will complete the last year of an unfinished term that ends on June 30, 2020.
By Desirée Keegan, Rick Murphy, and Stephen J. Kotz