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Jan 25, 2012 11:57 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Absentee Ballots Cause Confusion In Upcoming East Quogue School Vote

Jan 25, 2012 12:44 PM

A pending referendum that will determine whether or not the East Quogue School District can spend $250,000 to buy land next door to the elementary school has created a bit of confusion among some of the hamlet’s taxpayers.

At last week’s Board of Education meeting, several attendees expressed concerns that many of the hamlet’s senior citizens will not be in East Quogue for the referendum, which is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, explaining that many of the older residents will be in warmer climates and some might not even know about the vote. Additionally, those in attendance said most of the hamlet’s “snowbirds” probably will not even learn about the referendum until they return from their winter homes in the spring.

At the same meeting, during which School Board members would later set the date for the vote, East Quogue resident Patricia Reindl stated that she was told by the Suffolk County Board of Elections that absentee ballots would not be available for next month’s referendum. That development, she said, essentially eliminates the voice of local senior citizens who have second homes.

In response to Ms. Reindl’s concerns, East Quogue School Superintendent Les Black stated that absentee ballots would be made available, but never specified where they could be obtained. It turns out that the Suffolk County Board of Elections does not handle the absentee ballots for school referendums, meaning that it is up to the individual districts to decide if absentee ballots will be allowed.

Mr. Black did not return calls this week seeking clarification, though East Quogue Elementary School Principal Robert Long said on Wednesday morning that the district is accepting absentee ballots. The application form for an absentee ballot is now available online on the district’s website, www.eastquogue.k12.ny.us.

“We will be accepting absentee ballots from anywhere the United States [Postal Service] delivers and receives,” Mr. Long said. “One-hundred percent yes.”

A downloadable absentee ballot application form was posted on the school website sometime after the last Board of Education meeting on January 17.

According to Mr. Long, the district is doing what it can to notify eligible voters about the upcoming referendum. He added that a future mailing will direct residents requesting absentee ballots to the district’s website.

But Ms. Reindl said many senior citizens aren’t going to receive the mailer and, therefore, won’t know about the referendum ahead of time.

“How would someone out-of-state even know about that?” Ms. Reindl asked. “The post office does not forward second- and third-class mail, which a flier from the district would be, so people out-of-state would not even be aware of the vote.”

Ms. Reindl, who used to spend her winters in Florida, said there was always a delay in receiving hometown news. She said that is why the district should hold the referendum in May, at the same time of its annual school budget vote.

“They are holding this at the wrong time of year,” Ms. Reindl said.

District officials have said this year’s school budget includes $250,000 that’s set aside to purchase the 1-acre property. Though they have no current plans, school officials said they want to buy the land now to accommodate future expansion at the elementary school. The $250,000 price does not include the costs of demolishing and removing the house, which could cost up to $400,000.

A public hearing on the proposed land purchase will be held on Tuesday, February 7, starting at 7:45 p.m., at the Central Avenue school.

According to the absentee ballot application form, it must be received by District Clerk Lenore Rezza at least seven days prior to the referendum if it is mailed in, or hand-delivered to the district one day before the scheduled vote. The form also offers several reasons why a resident would be eligible for an absentee ballot. They include: hospitalization, vacations, travel and incarceration.

Previously, Mr. Long explained that the referendum will be overseen by the Suffolk County Board of Elections, which will be providing the voting machines and a county employee to supervise the proceedings. This week, he confirmed that the Board of Elections will be using the newer voting machines, which some people may not be familiar with.

Mr. Long also said he hopes that all concerned residents will attend the public hearing on February 7.

“Our intention is just to share all of the information with the community, listen to their input, and do our best to answer any questions, concerns or compliments they may have.” Mr. Long said.

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The district has been lying to the community for years, kudos to the senior who called Superintendent Black on it. He should be removed by the Board of Education for spreading misleading and false information to the community.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 25, 12 5:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Tell Mr Long that many concerned citizens winter in Fla and can not attend the Feb 7th meeting. Neither Mr Long or Mr Black know what they are doing concerning this matter. There will be a lawsuit if the vote takes place in Feb.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Jan 25, 12 8:18 PM
The school sent out a mailing informing residents about this. These seniors don't get their mail forwarded? Stop it, your being silly.
They are informed, I find it very hard to believe these people go to Florida for several months and cut themselves off from all knowledge of happenings in this hamlet.
They have been notified, period. It is up to them to get an absentee ballot and send it in, period. If you know of someone that may honestly not know whats going on, be a concerned ...more
By ADAMSG (53), EAST QUOGUE on Jan 26, 12 9:23 AM
3 members liked this comment
Way below market value. Market value is only what someone is willing to pay for it. No one wanted this property which is just under three-quarters of an acre. The house must be demolished, its uninhabitable. The only interested party was the school. This property is not in a desirable location. Perhaps if the district stopped sending bogus information to the community they might get more support.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 26, 12 12:16 PM
Take a look at the January 24, 2012 western edition of the Press. Go to the Public Notices, East Quogue UFSD has advertised the upcoming vote. Proposition 1, $400,000 is the referendum we are voting upon.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 27, 12 6:40 AM
Now let me get this straight. Why are we voting on $400,000 if the $250,000 for the property has already been included. I can't believe it will cost $400,000 to bull doze the house. and fill in the cellar. If so I want the contract . Better yet let the fire dept. burn it down and have it as a practice. Thus saving mega dollars for all. I am and always have been to purchase the property but not for an additional $400,000 to tear it down and dispose of it. It only takes less than a day ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Jan 27, 12 2:42 PM
$400,000 is the total cost, $250,000 for property and an additional $150,000 to demolish the house and whatever else they intend to do. Take a look at the mailer they sent around. Part-time Superintendent Black will be putting his portable building on this property and soon as the voters approve this referendum. They are not revealing all the facts, things are not as simple as you think. They are gearing up for expansion. Taxpayer are being duped.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 27, 12 4:01 PM
By patrickstar (67), hampton bays on Jan 27, 12 3:31 PM
We the voters and residents of East Quogue care about this NONSENSE weather we are for or against this proposal. Since you are writing from Hampton Bays I can see why you would feel this in NONSENCE. You are not involved nor is your pocketbook. To the residents of East Quogue pleae attend the next school board meeting on Feb. 7th. and ask straight forward questions. Please understand partickstar I am not looking for a duel with you as I am too old to pick up the sword. Carol Combes
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Jan 28, 12 9:14 AM
Is there any authoritative projection of future enrollment? In its absence, it would be foolish to buy additional land for expansion since its existence will encourage the EQ School Board TO expand, needed or not.

Once in the past the district had a $$400K+ surplus and decreased enrollment. The Board's proposal at that time to spend the money on expansion was voted down by residents so the Board moved the money from one bookkeeping category to another and spent it anyway.

The ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 28, 12 3:11 PM
Who owns the land on Lewis Road to the north of the school ? This is where new fencing has been installed two months ago . What is the story on this piece? Was this also purchased for the future? So many question, I have today. Carol
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Jan 28, 12 4:14 PM
Point blank. I have spoken with East Quogue School Principal. Robert Long. The full $400,000 has and is already in the scool budget to purchase this prime additional piece of property and remove the contents. It will not be an added expense on 2012 school taxes. Don't believe me attend the school board meeting Feb. 7th. at 7:45 and ask yourselve. None of us can predict the future what this land will be used for. Imagine what would happen if we had to build another school elsewhere. Who ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Jan 29, 12 10:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
Clearly there is no point in getting into dialogue with individuals who are not open minded. Expert studies have predicted decreased student enrollment, the school has small class size and more teachers than needed. Kindergarten has 14 children in a class and 5 classes. Small class size was brought up at the last BOE meeting. The Board of Education doesn't like to discuss that having small class size is why space has become a problem. The facts do not lie, only those who have hidden agenda's ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 6:31 AM
They are going to buy it.
People are going to vote for it.
Your negative feelings toward this, the school board, taxes etc. are very strong.
Have you ever thought of moving to someplace that would be more to your standards?
By ADAMSG (53), EAST QUOGUE on Jan 30, 12 8:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you for your concern. I am not a teacher or administrator so my feelings are based on the high taxes which we pay for this district. The school board is made up of educators and relatives, given this makeup, the taxpayers do not have a chance.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 10:45 AM
crusader. Get your facts right. The kindergarden has 4 classes, not 5. It also has 17 to 20 children per class not 14. This is what was said at the last BOE you and I were at . I spoke with a retired teacher who taught kindergarden for years in Westhampton Beach.. She said it is one of the hardest classes for teaching if their are too many children in a classroom. Personally I think I have a very clear open mine for todays future for E. Q. School... I am not stuck on getting a great ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 10:04 AM
Get your facts straight. Go to 27.east.com East Quogue adds kindergarten class, preserves sixth grade class 6/22/11 by Laura Cooper. Maybe you should have attended the BOE meeting when this all was done. The question that was posed at the last BOE meeting was about the 6th grade class, I was there. Oh yes, also look at the mailer which was just sent by the school by Superintendent Black.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 10:31 AM
THe East Quogue School has 4 sections of kindergarten not 5. In addition, the average kindergarten class size is 18, not 14. New kindergarten students are continuing to enroll. For example, a new student just enrolled this past Wednesday.
By Eqeducation (8), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 10:10 AM
I know the Press printed information which is not correct. They do not do this because unlike the district they can be held liable for printing false information.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 10:33 AM
27.east.com East Quogue Adds Kindergarten Class, Preserves 6th Grade Class. 6/22/11 The newspaper is not printing misinformation, unlike those of you who deliberately spread false information. Why are you afraid of the truth?
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 11:08 AM
crusader. Read today newsday. Don't believe everthing you read. What a mess of numbers this reporter did. Carol Combes
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 5:11 PM
Perhaps the East Quogue School District should have returned their telephone calls. I wonder why they did not?
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 6:02 PM
Oh, by the way, do you know how the taxpayers are going to come up with the additional funding (12%) for the NYS Retirement System in 2013? How about you EQeducation? The district knows this is coming, but not the average taxpayer. They will when school taxes skyrocket, maybe we can sell property at a profit to pay for it.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 30, 12 6:22 PM
crusader. If this 12% increase is so and going to happen I hope the BOE will speak on this to the public. Feb. 7th. This however would not be 12% on the whole budget but 12% on the total retirement increase cost. per year and more than likly future years.. Who ever thought many years ago people would outlive their life expediency when these retirments plans were set up.. A quick example. My father ,a bayman paid into the SS system a total of $1000 after WW11 before becoming disabled. Their ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Jan 31, 12 12:28 PM
OMG, Obviously you lack firsthand knowledge how the school districts have taxed homeowners out of their homes in the Western half of Long Island. Rather than learn from history, the community is allowing the district to go down the same path. What will the homeowners do when it is too late here? East Quogue is at a crossroad where we can become prudent with taxpayer funds or continue spending unchecked. Clearly, you are not open-minded to discover for yourself what has happened elsewhere. It is ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 1, 12 9:30 AM
I have attended many schools within 50 miles for wrestling, football and baseball. in the past 3 years. outside my comfort zone . The schools are hugh and built outside of town and villages in open fields. Many house kindergarden through 12th. grade and look as though they go for 1/4 of a mile . If I do throw in a bit of history that is because I do write the save the history of East Quogue . We have such a nice small school and this is why I would like to see this property purchase so we don't ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 1, 12 11:08 AM
As for myself, I support the men and women of the East Quogue Fire Department 100%. They live in and serve this community with honor. I am concerned with their safety and I laud their efforts to our community. I refuse to be narrow-minded like some others. Thank you East Quougue Fire Department for all you do.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 1, 12 1:24 PM
Hi, crusader, This is from your ever writting narrow minded Carol. I only hope many are reading our writtngs aside from you and I. I lived on Halsey Avenue in 1945 and family beyond. The whistle was in no way a danger. This tower has not been proven to me but be anything possitive as far aws health issues.. Do you live and walk in the village as I still do today? If so, how can you think otherwise? What proof do you have this tower is safe from falling into ones yard. which has already ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 1, 12 6:58 PM
I walk and ride my bike in the village and am well aware of the changes which have taken place. Let's be clear, for those who live around the fire department, they view this proposed tower as an eyesore which will lower property values. The likelihood of a large tree falling is of greater concern then that of a tower, but it is possible. Any type of communication tower carries the same risk. NIMBYism is what is taking place. I support the men and women of the East Quogue Fire Department. They ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 1, 12 9:30 PM
.This is for the lady at the last BOE meeting saying seniors would have to end up eating dog food to survive school taxes . Ever price a can of dog food? Buy corn beef hash, same price. If your income is under $37,000 you are eligable for a great school tax break. If your income is under $77,400 you are entitled for an extra program called star enhanced.. Me telling this is baically costing me money . Why? everytime a property gets reduced or goes to grievence and gets reduced someone ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 1, 12 7:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
The major changes in this village in the past 60 years are a traffic light, a great one story school built in 1956 ,a fire dept. built in 1950, a park amd a few stores.... This 100 foot cell tower will be totally out of place especially in the center of town. Most homeowners say they would pay in their taxes for an anteena tower for the fire dept. "no cell." We do know the fire dept should have better communication equitement not to risk their health and safety and we the public should have ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 2, 12 10:14 AM
Well, let's see, any communication tower would have to be quite tall therefore also out of place in the center of town. Try and put another referendum before the taxpayers that will cost them and see how many vote "Yes." There is no verifiable data to support the cell phone tower as being a health and safety risk. Federal law trumps NIMBYism is this case. It is verifiable that the men and women of the East Quogue Fire Department are presently at risk because of the inability to communicate. We ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 2, 12 8:25 PM
Crusader. Will you vote yes for an antenna which will serve just as well ? A one time cost to protect our fire men and woman. I am glad you write that any communication tower would be out of place in the center of town. On second though I don't believe we have a choice to vote on this important matter. Go to Southampton Town Hall Feb 9th. at 7 p.m. and voice your opinions. There are other alternatives aside of this $22,000 income cell tower. It will look like a giant smoke stack. ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 3, 12 9:43 AM
Carol, have you taken a REAL look at the community lately, we have many rentals. We also have satellite dishes on Main Street along with store owners who won't even put a flower in the boxes in front of their businesses. They expect the community to do this. Main Street looks quite shabby, it has gone downhill the past couple of years. I maintain the property in front of my house even though its not mine. Is it asking too much for the proprietors of the Main Street to do the same? AGAIN, I support ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 3, 12 1:09 PM
Crudader. Pickie, pickie. Let see the New Moon has flower boxes, the liqour store, Sony's market has two big entrance hibiscus.,calico gardens and the new beauty polllar have boxes. The remaninder do not have attached flower boxes but contribute for the ground flowers.. Flowers do not grow in the winter in these boxes. " DUD" . I know these store renters or owners pay for there own flowere in these boxes.. The beautification committee does a fantastic job in season around the sidewalk ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 3, 12 7:18 PM
"DUH" Flowers do not grow outdoors in the wintertime in NY. A big, "NO" vote on the purchase of the property for the school. Neither you or I have a vote on the cell tower, but under Federal Law it appears there will be one at the East Quogue Fire Department.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 3, 12 8:20 PM
Crusader, This is the best news I have had from you. I see the wording,, but under Federal Law "it appears". there will be one at the E. Q. firehouse. I sincerely hope we will all have a vote on cell tower. Carol Combes
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 4, 12 9:23 AM
Carol, do you have a microwave or cell phone?
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 4, 12 3:17 PM
According to Cha Cha websight about radiation. Do you have kitty litter, bananas , ceramics, lantern, anthing that glow in the dark, smoke detector, cigarettes, granite counter tops that contain uranium. and people in your home?. Do you have sunlight? Sunlight has ultraviolet radiation as well as the ground.. Therefore kick your partner out of the bed, get rid of the kitty and dont go outside or eat bananas. Radiation is all around us and we don't need to chance what is unknown.. Yes I ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 4, 12 7:49 PM
DUH, we got on the cell tower cause you brought it into the discussion on Feb. 1....Did you forget?
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 6, 12 9:35 AM
To all, I was informed today there is different
information being considered. about the cell tower. CarolCombes
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 4, 12 7:53 PM
Crusader, I know why I brought up the celll tower Feb. 1st. It was to make a point. If the present home owners sell out around the cell tower the properties will go cheap. These properties could very well be purchased for investment rentals. This is how I joinied these two main East Quogue issues into my thinking. Rentals could mean more children attending the school. The purchase of the Oliver property would be the answer for several year this being another in my long term thinking..... ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 6, 12 2:11 PM
Getting back to the cell phone tower update information that I did memtion. Only thing I have heard is discussion to possibly put it some where else. The meeting is this Thursday, Feb. 9th. at Southampton Town Hall 7 p.m. Today being Feb. 7th. East Quogue School Board Meeting on the purchsw of Oliver property at 7:45 p.m. Carol Combes
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 7, 12 8:38 AM
Do you know how to use spell check?
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 9, 12 3:40 PM
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 12, 12 10:43 AM