May 10, 2006
By Lisa Finn
It's school budget season, and, as the vote next Tuesday approaches, tensions are high across the board as districts put their proposed budgets on the block and pray they'll pass.
This year, the stakes are even higher, with a number of North Fork schools instituting a one-vote policy: If the budget gets voted down, there will be no second chances as districts adopt their contingency plans. Here's a by-district breakdown of the various districts and their proposed budgets.
Southold Schools Superintendent Dr. Christopher Gallagher said the total adopted budget was $21.9 million reflecting an increase of about 9.7%, with an estimated tax rate increase of 9.8%. Running for school board in Southold are Paulette Ofrias, Scott DeSimone, John Faulkner, and Donna Dzugas-Smith.
In Greenport, Superintendent Charles Kozora said of the $12.7, million budget on the expenditures side, the budget would go up 5.1%. On the revenue side, the rate is going up 5.2%. "In our case, our assessed value went down," said Kozora. Running unopposed for the Greenport School Board are Lisa Israel and Val Shelby.
Riverhead Assistant Superintendent for Business Joseph Singleton said, with a proposed budget of $93.3 million which reflects a 6.5% increase in the budget and an estimated 3.5% tax rate increase, the numbers are good. Running for Riverhead School Board are four candidates for two positions: Angela deVito, James Senatore, Marie Tooker, and Timothy S. Griffin.
In Oysterponds: Acting Superintendent Dr. Stuart Rachlin explained that the budget being proposed totals $5.2 million which represents an increase of 7.8% in spending from last year, with an increase in the tax levy of a little over 9.5%. There are two seats open on the school board, with two candidates, former board member William Hands, III, and Edward (Ted) Webb.
In the Mattituck-Cutchogue school district, Superintendent James McKenna said the budget number of $30.6 million reflects a 10.5% spending increase, which translates into a 9.3% tax rate increase. The bond costs, he said, equal $1.1million. Running for three seats on the school board are incumbents Jeff Smith and Doug Cooper, as well as Debra Cahill, who will fill the seat vacated by president Bev Wowack, who has chosen not to seek reelection.