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Apr 19, 2019 9:30 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Eastport-South Manor Adopts $97 Million Budget For Next School Year, Now Subject To Voter Approval

Eastport-South Manor Board President Nicholas Vero at the April 17 board meeting. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Apr 20, 2019 8:04 AM

The Eastport-South Manor School Board adopted a $97 million budget for next school year at its meeting Wednesday night, officially placing the budget on the ballot for voters to decide its fate on May 21.

The board voted, 6-0, to adopt the budget after Assistant Superintendent Tim Laube, in charge of the district’s business and operations, gave his seventh and final presentation of the figures. Board Vice President Cheryl Hack was absent for the meeting.

The vote came just two days after the board had placed the district’s superintendent, Dr. Patrick Brimstein, on paid administrative leave due to a personnel matter that district officials and staff say they cannot discuss.

The 2019-20 budget complies with the state-mandated cap on property tax levy increases, falling right at that number. However, a separate proposition on the ballot, which the board also approved on Wednesday night, would mean the budget would pierce the cap—but only if voters approved it by a supermajority of at least 60 percent.

The proposition calls for $512,411 in taxpayer money to add six armed guards to patrol the district’s schools, two in the junior-senior high school and one in each of the four elementary schools. If it is approved, the size of the tax levy increase would grow to 3.69 percent.

The May ballot will have two propositions—one to approve the $97 million budget, and the other to approve the armed guards and thus pierce the cap. The second proposition would pass only if both propositions receive support from at least 60 percent of voters.

A few parents petitioned in December to add the measure to the ballot due to a desire for increased security at their children’s schools. After some reluctance and research, the board decided to add it as a proposition so that the community could make the decision themselves.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Mr. Laube brought up an unexpected $709,590 expenditure for next year that he hadn’t budgeted for, which would allow 10 or 11 special education students to attend outside facilities better suited to their needs. He had just learned of the additional cost two weeks prior, he told the board, as he was almost done assembling the budget—which he referred to as a “four-dimensional puzzle.”

To offset that cost, Mr. Laube recommended that the district roll over a special education fund balance surplus from this year, which is projected to come in at $700,000.

As part of the final budget numbers, three elementary school teachers were added to replace three elementary teachers who are leaving this year whom the district was not originally planning to replace. The board also agreed to remove funding for all district field trips, excluding music field trips, as a way to reduce budget numbers, thus providing $96,894 for continual special education funding.

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Don't approve the budget until there is more transparency about suspension of superintendent.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Apr 19, 19 9:56 AM
Suspensions should be without pay.
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on Apr 19, 19 10:57 AM
How many jobs do you get richly rewarded for screwing up and then have your screw ups hidden from those who pay your bloated salary?
By country joe (60), sag harbor on Apr 19, 19 2:43 PM
Pretty much every banking executive in 2009.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Apr 20, 19 10:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
Not true a lot lost their jobs for good.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Apr 21, 19 9:30 AM
That's fair. A lot of hardworking guys did lose their jobs. Some got golden parachutes, though.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Apr 21, 19 9:43 AM
Yes, the execs who bankrupted Lehman and Bear Stearns are now washing dishes in a Cracker Barrel in Oregon and the CEO of Goldman Sachs has a dog walking business in Phoenix.
Oh wait, that's anyone who invested in their residential mortgage backed bonds, all those execs golf 18 holes a day and live in luxury.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Apr 21, 19 9:39 PM
2 members liked this comment
I know some white collar traders who became blue collar guys after the downturn, but you're not wrong.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Apr 21, 19 10:57 PM
"traders"? Really? That's what you got? How about their bosses' bosses' boss? How's that executive doing for money?

Superintendent of School District making $300,000 per year pay package, getting suspended with pay for unknown reasons is a joke. One who has a wife in the same school district making $150,000 pay package is a crime.

Banking execs getting $5 million a year, spelling junk, then getting billions in tax payers money, keeping their jobs, then complaining about socialism ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Apr 22, 19 5:39 AM
I don't understand why you're getting so aggressive...I agree with you!

Yes, some bank execs got golden parachutes on the taxpayers dime.

Some average Joes also got stiffed when their jobs went up in smoke.

Why can't both things be true?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Apr 22, 19 6:02 AM
Not the first bailout. It was the one that coined TBTF though...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 22, 19 6:54 AM
Yes I am agreeing with you. Some people did some things.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Apr 24, 19 7:56 AM
1 member liked this comment