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May 21, 2019 6:57 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Voters Approve Budgets In All South Fork Districts, Approve $7.5 Million Montauk Library Expansion

Voters cast their ballots in the Southampton Intermediate School Music Room on Tuesday. ANISAH ABDULLAH
May 22, 2019 9:31 AM

UPDATE: 10 p.m.

The Quogue School District’s $8.8 million operating budget for the upcoming school year passed, 163-42, according to Superintendent Jeffrey Ryvicker.

Additionally, incumbents Lauuren Battista and Steve Failla were re-elected to the School Board, earning 145 and 131 votes, respectively. Newcomer Paul Bass beat incumbent Barbara Sartorius, garnering 116 and 111 votes, respectively.

District taxpayers also approved four propositions. Proposition 2 approved the Quogue Village Library’s $956,040 budget for next year. Proposition 3 permits the Board of Education to transfer $200,000 from the district’s unassigned reserve fund to the repair reserve fund which was established in 2018 for capital improvements. Proposition 4 authorizes the district to use $160,000 from the capital reserve fund for classroom renovations and proposition 5 allows the board to contract with Westhampton Beach School District to educate students from grades seven through 12.

UPDATE: 9:45 p.m.

Sagaponack School District voters unanimously approved the budget proposal with a 30-0 vote. There were 28 votes cast for Cathy Hatgistavrou, who was running unopposed for School Board.

In addition, voters approved propositions to sign tuition contracts with the East Hampton and Sag Harbor school districts to educate fourth- through sixth-graders, as well as, in the case of Sag Harbor, children in preschool in those districts. There were 30 votes in favor and no votes in opposition for both propositions.

The Sag Harbor budget was approved, 767-347.

Proposition two regarding the purchase of two school buses passed, 638-463.

Incumbent Chris Tice was reelected with 674 votes, Yorgos Tsibiridis had 666 votes and Brian DeSesa was elected with 548 votes.

Southampton School District voters approved a $71,908,015 budget for the 2019-20 school year in a 517-287 vote. The tax levy will increase by 3.21 percent, by an amount of $1,827,814, and the tax rate is projected to decrease by 4 percent.

Board President Donald King won reelection for his fourth term and newcomer Charles Styler was elected to replace board member Roberta Hunter, whose term expires at the end of June. Mr. King received 425 votes and Mr. Styler received 381 votes.

The two women of color who ran, Meesha Johnson, a Shinnecock resident, and the Reverend Leslie Duroseau were unsuccessful.

“Unbelievable,” Ms. Hunter said as the final results were announced.

All five additional propositions were approved, with over 500 votes in favor and around 250 votes against for each proposition.

UPDATE: 9:40 p.m.

In Springs, voters approved the budget, 272-97. The transportation proposition passes, 89-78. Incumbents School Board member David Conlon received 215 votes, incumbent Amy Rivera received 192 votes, both earning a second term on the board, while newcomer Joe Sullivan had 159 votes and Deborah Goodman had 114.

Westhampton Beach School District voters approved a $58,018,834 budget for next school year in a 243-65 vote. Both the tax levy and the projected tax rate will increase by 3.64 percent.

Proposition 2, which allows Westhampton Free Library’s tax levy to rise 1.75 percent, to $2,298,875, was also approved in a 224-84 vote.

Uncontested School Board candidate Stacy Rubio, who previously sat on the board, will be making her return. She received 283 votes.

Tuckahoe residents voted to approve the district’s proposed budget of $21,823,662 in a 174-135 vote on Tuesday night. Along with approving the budget, residents voted 209-99 in favor of spending $55,000 to participate in the Southampton Youth Association, and 208-99 to spend $8,000 to participate in the Parrish Art Museum’s programs next year.

In addition to approving the propositions, Timothy Gilmartin was elected to his first term on the School Board with 266 votes.

UPDATE: 9:35 p.m.

Hampton Bays District voters approved the district’s $54.3 million operating budget, 545-255, for the 2019-20 school year.

Also, School Board incumbents Kevin Springer and Richard Joslin were re-elected to serve three-year terms.

Taxpayers also approved an additional proposition, 551-245, which authorized the Board of Education to establish a capital reserve fund, not to exceed $5 million, for the purpose of replacing the district’s roof and HVAC system.

A second proposition passed, 583-216, authorizing the Board of Education to repair, reconstruct and upgrade the school district’s buildings, facilities and grounds for an estimated cost of $300,000 to be transferred from the district’s 2018-19 school year’s unappropriated fund balance.

UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.

Voters in the Remsenburg-Speonk School District approved a $14,353,276 budget for the 2019-20 school year in a 127-47 vote. The two additional propositions on the ballot were also approved as well. The tax levy will increase by 2.9 percent, by an amount of $353,446, and the tax rate is predicted to decrease of 5.6 percent.

Incumbent school board members Kevin Toolan and John Barry retained their seats after running unopposed. Mr. Toolan received 146 votes and will begin his second term, and Mr. Barry received 149 votes and will begin his third term.

Proposition 2 was approved in a 162-12 vote. This proposition would authorize the Board of Education to contract with the Westhampton Beach School District and the Eastport-South Manor School District for the education of students in grades 7 through 12 for the 2019-2020 school year.

Proposition 3 was approved in a 150-24 vote. This proposition would authorize the Board of Education to contract with the Suffolk Cooperative Library System for one year beginning on July 1, 2019 for direct access library service in an amount not to exceed $289,864.26 in addition to the amount provided in the budget, and the necessary tax be levied as a result.

UPDATE: 9:20 p.m.

The East Quogue School budget was approved, 444-127, according to Superintendent and Principal Robert Long.

Additionally, district voters approved three propositions. Proposition 2 permits residents in the district to use library services through the Suffolk County Cooperative Library System through the 2019-20 school year, at a cost to the district of $689,114. Proposition 3 authorizes the School Board to establish a capital reserve fund in an amount of up to $500,000 for the purpose of improving the facilities, and proposition 4 allows the Board of Education to enter into an agreement with the Westhampton Beach School District to educate students in grades seven to 12.

School Board incumbents Jessica Stalters and Dianna Gobler were also both re-elected to serve their second and third three-year term, respectively.

UPDATE: 9 p.m.

In East Hampton, Sandra Vorpahl was the top vote-getter among four candidates for three School Board seats. She had 346 votes, while Wendy Geehring, an incumbent, had 318, J.P. Foster, another incumbent, had 303, and Jeffrey Erickson, a newcomer, had 199. Ms. Geehring and Mr. Foster will retain their board seats.

The budget was approved, 410-56.

UPDATE: 8:55

Voters in the Bridgehampton School District approved its $18.7 million operating budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, 132-64, according to District Clerk Tammy Cavanaugh.

Additionally, taxpayers approved a proposition authorizing the school board to renew the leases on two parcels adjacent to the school district, located at 2313 and 2721 Montauk Highway, for a period of up to three years.

Incumbent Jennifer Vinski garnered a total of 135 votes and was re-elected to her third, three-year term. Newcomer Carla Lillie earned 81 votes, beating three others, including incumbent Michael Gomberg, who had 54 votes, for the second open seat on the board. Angela Torres Chmielewski and Randall Davis received 54 and 50 votes, respectively.

UPDATE: 8:45 p.m.

The Wainscott School budget was approved, 37-13, and William A. Babinski Jr. was reelected to the Board of Education.

In Amagansett, the budget was approved by voters, 188-44. The library budget passed, 203-27.

In the Board of Education race, Kristen Peterson was the top vote-getter with 168 votes. Anna Bernasek and Hank Muchnic, tied, with each garnering 151 votes. A runoff election will be held to determine who will serve the full three-year term and who will complete the last two years of term vacated by Patrick Bistrian. Candidates Mary Eames received 98 votes and Matthew Feyh received 81.

UPDATE: 8:30 p.m.

Montauk voters approved the Montauk Library’s $7.5 million renovation and expansion project, 245-81, on Tuesday, as part of the Montauk Union Free School District budget vote and school board election.

“We’re thrilled with the results of today’s vote,” Montauk Library Director Denise DiPaolo said in a statement, “and we’re so grateful for the enthusiasm and support the Montauk community has shown for this much-needed project.”

The Montauk school budget passed, 280-50. Incumbent School Board member Tom Flight received 254 votes, and newcomer Nick Finazzo recived 291 votes. Mr. Flight will serve a three-year term and Mr. Finazzo will complete the final two years of former board member Patti Leber’s term.

Original Story:

Voters head to the polls on Tuesday, where they will be given the opportunity to approve school budgets, elect members to school boards and vote on special propositions, including those that allow the school districts to enter into agreements with other districts to educate students, and those that seek to spend additional money.

Sag Harbor

Sag Harbor School District residents are being asked to approve the district’s proposed $42,885,375 budget, which represents a $1,004,479, or 2.4 percent increase in spending from the 2018-19 school year. The district is proposing to levy $38,687,974 from taxpayers, or roughly 3 percent more than last year—an amount that falls below the state’s cap on increases.

Sag Harbor voters will also be asked to select three new School Board members out of a pool of six candidates. One of those candidates, Chris Tice, is an incumbent who is seeking a third, three-year term. Ms. Tice will face off against newcomers Julian Barrowcliffe, Thomas McErlean, Caleb Kercheval, Yorgos Tsibiridis and Brian DeSesa, who was appointed to the board in January to fill a vacated seat and is seeking election to remain on the board.

Voters will also be asked to approve the purchase of a 2019 school bus for $103,524 and a 2019 Chevrolet Suburban school bus with 4-wheel-drive for $74,922.

Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Pierson High School gymnasium.

East Hampton

East Hampton School District voters will be asked to approve the district’s proposed $70,947,120 operating budget, which represents a $1,100,922, or 1.58 percent increase from the 2018-19 school year. The proposed tax levy of $51,591,658 represents a 1.85 percent increase from last year, which falls below the state mandated tax cap.

Four candidates will face off for three seats on the East Hampton School Board, including incumbents Wendy Geehreng, who is seeking a third three-year term, and James Foster, who is also seeking a third term. Joining them on the ballot are Jeffrey Erickson and Sandra Vorpahl, who served on the school board from 2004 to 2010.

Voting will take place at the East Hampton District Office from 1 to 8 p.m.

Springs

Voters in the Springs School District will be asked on Tuesday to approve an operating budget for the 2019-20 school year of $29,692,160, which is $818,000, or 2.18 percent more than what the school district operated on this year. The district is proposing to raise $26,589,533 in revenue through property taxes, or 3.25 more than the 2018-19 school year, which does not pierce the state-mandated tax cap.

Residents in the Springs School District will also be asked to appoint two candidates to the School Board, including incumbents David Conlon, who is seeking a second three-year term, and Amy Rivera, who is also seeking a second term on the board. Joining Mr. Conlon and Ms. Rivera on the ballot are Deborah Goodman and Joseph Sullivan, who are both seeking their first term on the board.

Voting will take place at the Springs School library from 1 to 9 p.m.

Wainscott

Residents in the Wainscott School District will be asked to approve an operating budget of $3,324,651, which represents an $8,626, or 0.26 percent reduction from the 2018-19 school year. This marks the seventh time in the last eight years that the district has cut spending. While the budget is decreasing, the amount of money levied from property taxes is going up to $2,664,651, a $416,374, or 18.5 percent increase from the 2018-19 school year. If approved by the supermajority, or 60 percent of the vote, the district would pierce the tax cap.

Incumbent School Board member William Babinski Jr. is running unopposed to a third term on the board.

Voting will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Wainscott School.

Amagansett

The Amagansett School District is asking residents to approve an operating budget of $10,913,234, which is $160,994, or 1.5 percent more than the current school year’s budget. The district is also proposing to increase the current tax levy by 3 percent to $9,863,103 for next year, which falls below the state-mandated tax cap.

Voters will also be asked to elect three candidates to the School Board, with three incumbents—Kristen Peterson, who is seeking election to a second term, Hank Muchnic, who is seeking election to a second term, and Anna Bernasek, who is seeking election to her first full-term after being appointed to the board in 2017 to fill an open position. Joining them on the ballot are newcomers Mary Eames and Matthew Feyh.

In addition to the budget, Amagansett voters will be asked to approve the Amagansett Library’s operating budget of $1,104,498 in a separate proposition. The budget represents a 4.9 percent increase from the current year’s budget.

Voting will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Amagansett School.

Montauk

The Montauk School District will ask voters on Tuesday to approve a $19,793,316 operating budget for the 2019-20 school year, which represents a $414,375, or 2 percent decrease from the current school year. The levy is also expected to decrease by 3.5 percent, going from $16,931,526 down to $16,358,178 next year.

In addition to voting on the budget, voters will be asked to fill two seats on the school board, with incumbent Tom Flight seeking election to a third, three-year term and Nick Finazzo, seeking election to his first full three-year term after being appointed last fall to Patti Leber’s seat after she retired.

An additional proposition will be on the ballot, asking voters to approve a $7,486,371 bond proposal for the renovation and expansion of the Montauk Library.

Voting will be from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Montauk School.

Southampton

Southampton School District voters will be asked on Tuesday to approve a $71,908,015 operating budget for the 2019-20 school year, representing a spending increase of $1,471,823, or 2.1 percent. The proposed tax levy of $58,699,051, represents a 3.21 percent increase, which falls under the state-mandated tax cap.

Residents will be asked to elect two out of four candidates to the School Board, including incumbent Don King, who is seeking reelection to a fourth, five-year term on the board. Joining Mr. King on the ballot are The Reverend Leslie Duroseau, Charles Styler and Meesha Johnson.

In addition to voting on the budget, residents in the Southampton School District will be asked to decide on five propositions. Proposition three would authorize the Board of Education to amend the Southampton Bus Fleet Replacement Capital Reserve Fund to an amount not to exceed $5 million and to extend the term of the fund for an additional 10 years, expiring on June 2029. Proposition Four would authorize the Board of Education to purchase three 72-passenger buses using $380,000 from a capital reserve fund set aside for the purchases. Proposition five would authorize the board to spend $1.8 million of capital reserve funds to provide climate control to the third floor classrooms in the Southampton Elementary School, and Proposition six would authorize the board to contract with the Southampton youth Association in the amount of $404,314 for the 2019-20 school year. Proposition seven authorizes the school board to contract with the Southampton Historical Museum for the amount of $235,000 for the 2019-20 year as well.

Voters can cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Southampton Intermediate School Music Room.

Tuckahoe

Voters in the Tuckahoe School District will be asked to approve an operating budget for the 2019-20 school year in the amount of $21,823,662, which represents an increase of $626,516, or 2.96 percent. The amount of money levied through property taxes is proposed to be $19,543,138, or 2.88 percent more than the current school year. The district does not plan to pierce the state-mandated tax cap.

Only one seat on the School Board is up for grabs, and Tim Gilmartin is seeking election to the position unopposed.

In addition to the school budget, voters will be asked to approve two propositions—the first proposition would authorize spending $55,000 to finance the district’s participation in the Southampton Youth Association for the 2019-20 school year, and the second would authorize spending $8,000 so district residents can participate in Parrish Art Museum programs.

Voters can cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on at the Magee Street school

Sagaponack

The Sagaponack School District will ask voters on Tuesday to approve an operating budget of $1,553,259 for the 2019-20 school year, which represents an increase of $14,567, or 0.9 percent. The district is proposing to levy $1,232,004 through property taxes, which is an increase of 5.5 percent from the current school year, and stays below the state-mandated tax cap.

Only one seat on the School Board is set to expire, and incumbent Cathy Hatgistavrou is seeking a fourth, three-year term to that seat.

In addition to voting on the budget, Sagaponack voters will be asked to approve two additional propositions. Proposition 2 authorizes the School Board to enter into a one-year tuition contract with the East Hampton School District, allowing fourth through sixth graders to attend East Hampton schools during the 2019-20 school year. Proposition 3 permits the district to sign a one-year tuition contract with the Sag Harbor School District, allowing Sagaponack’s preschool children, along with fourth-, fifth- and sixth graders to attend Sag Harbor schools next year.

Voting will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sagaponack School.

Bridgehampton

Bridgehampton School District voters will be asked to approve a $18,689,852 operating budget for the 2019-20 school year, which represents a $2,392,387, or 14.7 percent increase from the current school year. The district is proposing to levy $15,910,513 through property taxes, representing a 10.8-percent increase, which falls under the state-mandated tax cap.

Two seats on the School Board are up for grabs in the district and with five candidates in the hunt, including incumbents Jennifer Vinksi, who is seeking a third three-year term, and Michael Gomberg, who is seeking his second three-year term. Joining Mr. Gomberg and Ms. Vinksi on the ballot are newcomers Carla Lillie, Randall Davis and Angela Torres Chmielewski.

In addition to voting to approve a budget, voters will be asked to vote on Proposition 2, which would authorize the School Board to renew the leases on two parcels adjacent to the school district and located at 2313 and 2721 Montauk Highway, for a period of up to three years.

Voting will take place at the Bridgehampton School gymnasium from 2 to 8 p.m.

Hampton Bays

The Hampton Bays School District will ask voters to approve the proposed operating budget of $54,323,592 for the 2019-20 school year, which represents an increase of $1,839,988, or 3.5 percent. The district is proposing to levy $47,723,441 from property taxes, or 2.7 more than the current school year—falling below the state-mandated tax cap.

Two incumbents on the School Board are seeking reelection to their seats unopposed, with Richard Joslin seeking a fourth, three-year term, and Kevin Springer seeking a third term.

In addition to voting on a budget, voters will be asked to approve Proposition 2, which would authorize the School Board to establish a capital reserve fund, not to exceed $5 million, for the purpose of replacing the district’s roof and HVAC system.

Voting will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the middle school gymnasium.

East Quogue

Voters in the East Quogue School District will be asked to approve a proposed operating budget for the 2019-20 school year in the amount of $25,896,085, representing an increase of $728,069, or 2.9 percent. The district is proposing to levy $23,342,616, or 2.5 percent more than the current school year, which is below the state-mandated tax cap.

Incumbent School Board members Jessica Stalters and Dianna Gobler are both seeking reelection to their seats uncontested,with Ms. Stalters seeking a second, three-year term and Ms. Gobler seeking her third term.

In addition to approving the operating budget, East Quogue voters will be asked to approve three additional measures. Proposition 2 would allow residents in the district to use library services through the Suffolk County Cooperative Library System through the 2019-20 school year, at a cost to the district of $689,114. Proposition 3 authorizes the School Board to establish a capital reserve fund in an amount of up to $500,000 for the purpose of improving the facilities. Proposition 4 would authorize the Board of Education to enter into an agreement with the Westhampton Beach School District for students in grades seven to 12.

District voters can cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the East Quogue School’s gymnasium.

Quogue

The Quogue School District is asking voters to approve an $8,757,968 operating budget for the 2019-20 school year, which represents an increase of $416,252, or 4.9 percent from the current school year. The district is proposing to levy $7,707,001 from taxpayers, or 4.1 percent more than last year—an amount that falls below the state’s cap on increases.

Four candidates will battle it out for three seats on the School Board, with three incumbents—Lauren Battista, seeking a fifth, three-year term, Steve Failla, seeking a second term, and Barbara Sartorius, seeking a fourth term—in the race. Joining them on the ballot is Paul Bass, who hopes to be elected to his first term.

In addition to voting on the budget, residents will be asked to approve four additional measures. Proposition 2 would approve the Quogue Village Library’s $956,040 budget for next year. Proposition 3 would allow the board to transfer $200,000 from the district’s unassigned reserve fund to the repair reserve fund which was established in 2018 for capital improvements. Proposition 4 authorizes the district to use $160,000 from the capital reserve fund for classroom renovations and Proposition 5 allows the board to contract with Westhampton Beach School District to educate students from grades seven through 12.

District taxpayers can cast their votes from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Edgewater Road school.

Westhampton Beach

The Westhampton Beach School District will ask voters to approve an operating budget of $58,018,834 for the 2019-20 school year, representing an increase of $906,741, or 1.59 percent more than the current school year. The district is proposing to also levy $31,267,836 from residents through property taxes, which is 3.64 percent more than the 2018-19 school year—and below the state-mandated tax cap.

A familiar face to the school board, Stacy Rubio, is running uncontested to fill Jim Hulme’s seat on the School Board when he retires. Ms. Rubio served on the board from 2014 to 2016 to finish out the remainder of Gordon Werner’s term after he died in 2014.

In addition to voting on the budget, voters will be asked to approve Proposition 2, allowing the Westhampton Free Library’s tax levy to rise 1.75 percent, to a total of $2,298,875.

Voters can cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Westhampton Beach High School Large Group Instruction Room.

Remsenburg-Speonk

Voters in the Remsenburg-Speonk School District will be asked on Tuesday to approve an operating budget of $14,353,276 for the 2019-20 school year, an increase of $317,672, or 2.26 percent from the current school year. The district is proposing to levy $12,620,270 from residents through property taxes, which is 2.9 percent more than the 2018-19 school year—it does not plan to pierce the state-mandated tax cap.

Two current members of the five-seat board are running unopposed to their seats, which come with three-year terms. Kevin Toolan is seeking a second term on the board and John Barry is seeking his third term.

In addition to voting on the budget, voters will be asked to approve two additional measures. Proposition 2 authorizes the School Board to contract with the Westhampton Beach School District, allowing students in grades seven through 12 to attend Westhampton Schools. Proposition 3 allows the school board with contract with the Suffolk Cooperative Library System for one year beginning on July 1, for direct access to library services, for an amount not to exceed $289,864.26.

Voters can cast their ballots from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School.

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By NateNewtown (99), east on May 21, 19 8:03 AM
The yearly popularity contest that causes higher taxes and a lower education.
By chief1 (2745), southampton on May 21, 19 11:19 AM
My taxes have gone down every year for the past several years and not because I've appealed...just how it worked out.
By S'hamptonNative (83), Southampton on May 22, 19 8:41 AM
Greg, the comment about the two women of color not getting elected was not called for... We all have color. Could have said the two women were not elected. Sounds like a predjuiced election???
By knitter (1796), Southampton on May 22, 19 8:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
4 terms for a Board President?
Really?
By Sasa (6), Southampton on May 22, 19 1:39 PM
4 terms for a Board President?
Really?
By Sasa (6), Southampton on May 22, 19 1:40 PM
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