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May 22, 2019 11:08 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Budgets Approved In Southampton, Bridgehampton, Tuckahoe, Sag Harbor, Sagaponack

May 22, 2019 11:08 AM

Voters in the Southampton, Tuckahoe, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor and Sagaponack school districts approved their local school budgets on Tuesday, while also electing a few new faces to the school boards.

In Southampton, voters approved a $71,908,015 operating budget for the 2019-20 school year in a 517-287 vote. The approval allows a tax levy increase of 3.21 percent, or $1,827,814, and the tax rate is expected to decrease by 4 percent.

Incumbent Donald King, who serves as the Southampton School Board’s president, was elected to a fourth term with 425 votes, and newcomer Charles Styler was elected with 381 votes, replacing board member Roberta Hunter.

Ms. Hunter, who did not seek reelection, shook her head when the results were read, expressing disappointment that the two women of color who ran, Meesha Johnson, a Shinnecock resident, and the Reverend Leslie Duroseau, were not successful in getting elected.

“Unbelievable,” Ms. Hunter said.

Additionally, voters in the Southampton School District approved five additional propositions.

Proposition 3, which allows 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 in June 2029, was approved, 552-247. Proposition 4, which authorizes the board to purchase three 72-passenger buses using $380,000 from a capital reserve fund set aside for the purchases, was approved, 581-217.

Residents voted, 566-232, to approve Proposition 5, which authorizes 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 575-232 to approve Proposition 6, which authorizes the board to contract with the Southampton Youth Association for $404,314 for the 2019-20 school year.

Finally, Proposition 7, which authorizes the School Board to contract with the Southampton Historical Museum for $235,000 for the upcoming school year, was approved, 548-260.

Voters in the Bridgehampton School District approved its $18.7 million operating budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, 133-64, according to District Clerk Tammy Cavanaugh. Additionally, voters approved a proposition authorizing the School Board to renew the leases on two parcels adjacent to the Bridgehampton School, located at 2313 and 2721 Montauk Highway, for a period of up to three years.

Incumbent Jennifer Vinksi garnered a total of 135 votes and was reelected 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 seat on the board. Angela Torres Chmielewski and Randall Davis received 54 and 50 votes, respectively.

Sagaponack School District voters unanimously approved the budget proposal in 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 to send preschool students to Sag Harbor. There were 30 votes in favor and no votes in opposition for both propositions.

Tuckahoe residents approved the district’s budget of $21,823,662 in a 174-135 vote. 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 school year.

Timothy Gilmartin was elected to his first term on the School Board with 266 votes.

Sag Harbor School District residents approved the district’s $42,885,375 spending plan, which represents a $1,004,479, or 2.4 percent increase in spending from the 2018-19 school year, in a 761-347 vote.

Proposition 2, which was 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, passed, 638-463.

Incumbent Chris Tice, the highest vote-getter, was reelected to her fourth term on the board with 674 votes. Yorgos Tsibiridis had 666 votes and will serve a full three-year term. Brian DeSesa, who was appointed to the board in January to fill a vacant seat, was elected with 548 votes and will remain on the board for the next year to finish out an unexpired term.

Julian Barrowcliffe received 503 votes, Thomas McErlean received 409, and Caleb Kercheval received 170 votes.

After results were announced, Mr. DeSesa hugged his wife, Kelly, and said: “I’m very happy to continue to serve the School Board. I look forward to working the next year with the board.”

Ms. Tice said, “I very much appreciate the voter confidence from the community,” as people walking by congratulated her. “I’m excited and humbled to be able to continue to serve the community and the children and to make sure this is the best school experience possible.”

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Curious, why did Southampton School District need 3 new buses? What's wrong with the old ones? Too old? Are the new ones more fuel efficient? Why??
By Enviro Guy (44), Southampton on May 22, 19 3:17 PM
Congratulations to Charles Styler. Perseverance pays!
By Jimion (126), Hampton Bays on May 22, 19 5:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
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