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Oct 30, 2013 10:43 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District Voters Reject Proposed Merger

Oct 30, 2013 11:36 AM

A proposed merger between the Southampton and Tuckahoe school districts was vetoed by taxpayers this week and will not move forward to a second, final vote.

On Tuesday night, Southampton residents voted down the proposal, 1,075 to 693, which would have merged the Southampton and Tuckahoe school districts, effective July 1, 2014

In Tuckahoe, taxpayers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the proposition, 565 to 35—a moot point once their neighbors to the east rejected the proposition, as state law dictates that both would have to approve the measure separately in order for it to move forward to a joint vote of the two districts.

Now, with a merger off the table for at least six months, as required by state law before another vote can be held, both districts face uncertainty as they head into the budget season for the 2014-15 school year. In Tuckahoe, district administrators will have to find a way to save tuition money while still educating all of the district’s high school-age students as they leave the eighth grade in the K-8 district.

In Southampton, administrators either must find a way to lower tuition rates to accommodate Tuckahoe, or face losing all of the smaller district’s students—Tuckahoe students currently make up roughly a third of the Southampton High School population—and the tuition they pay each year, which totals $3 million in revenue for the larger district.

“At this point, the district is now going to be faced with some challenges it has not been faced with in the past,” Southampton School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Farina said after the results were announced. “We are still going to continue to work with our legislators to see if there is something we can do about the tax impact on the Southampton voters.”

In total, 2,368 taxpayers from both communities weighed in on annexation. If the merger vote had been a joint district vote, the merger would have been approved, with 1,258 in favor and 1,110 opposed.

In Tuckahoe, Superintendent Chris Dyer said the district will be considering all of its options in the next few weeks.

“We will continue to have guidance from our board, which has a meeting on Monday night that we’d like to invite everyone to, and we will start planning our budgetary plans for next school year,” Mr. Dyer said. “We look forward to having community input as we move forward to plan for school year 2014-15, and we’ll be looking at all options available to us.”

Southampton also has a Board of Education meeting scheduled for next week, on Tuesday in the Southampton Intermediate School music room at 7:30 p.m.

Now, both districts will be forced to create separate budgets, a process that typically starts in November, though numbers are not expected to be presented to the public until March.

“The big challenge we have right now is, we don’t want to compromise the level of the education we provide,” said Tuckahoe School Board President Bob Grisnik on Monday night. “We don’t want to eliminate any programs that will benefit our kids—they come first, no matter what. So we’ve got a lot of work to do over the next few months in building a budget.”

While the merger was voted down this week, it does not take the proposition completely off the table. The merger study, which was released in September and took six months for the SES Study Team to complete, is valid for two years. State law says the districts must wait six months before bringing a merger proposal to another public vote—an option that Dr. Farina said will be considered.

“I think the merger is a good idea, and it is needed,” he said. “I just don’t think that some of the community could get over the tax increase.

“Certainly, we are going to explore every avenue at this point to move forward,” he added.

In the meantime, both districts have committed to continuing to work with the East End politicians, mainly Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele, to make the merger a reality in the future. Both superintendents have said the legislators are working on new legislation to either ease the tax impact on the Southampton district, or to create separate tax rates for the two communities.

On Wednesday morning, Assemblyman Thiele said although he wants the merger to go through, he was not surprised by the results, adding that it was unlikely that Southampton taxpayers would approve anything with an 8.7 percent tax increase.

He added that although the merger is on hold right now, he and Senator LaValle are still working to make the merger happen in the future. He said in January, the pair will be able to petition the state to eliminate any tax increase related to the merger for Southampton voters, while still decreasing taxes for Tuckahoe.

“This is still just the beginning of the discussion,” he said. “We have the ability to work with our colleagues in Albany and the governors office wants to promote consolidation where it makes sense. I am hopeful we will have a receptive ear in Albany and can come up with options to make this, from a financial point of view, palatable for everybody now.”

Board members from both districts agree.

“What we need to do is stay in business for another year and then hope that a year from now, we can talk to Southampton and have another vote,” Mr. Grisnik said. “That’s an option, but in the meantime, maybe our legislators, Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele, might be able to help the greater community of Southampton through the state budget. We’ve met with them, they are both committed to seeing this merger through.”

Mr. Grisnik encouraged everyone to call or write their local representatives asking for help in both districts’ budgets for next year and for legislation to help the merger.

“That’s all we can do right now,” he said. “Stay in business, educate children, and hope. We thought that by July 1st we would be part of a new district. That didn’t happen tonight.”

Staff writer Brandon Quinn contributed to this story.

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Lets keep this community STRONG Vote YES
By mychildmatters (70), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 29, 13 8:28 AM
2 members liked this comment
We work together, our kids play together , Little League , PAL , Liabrary , EVERYTHING Southampton is used to will change if this Merger doesn't pass. PLEASE everyone VOTE YES for the good of our Community, for Our Children and for our Childrens children. I am a "Tuckahoe" parent who LIVES in Southampton. My Children played Town sports together with their friends. They didn't say oh they live in Southampton and I live in Tuckahoe so we can't be friends! Come on people what are you teaching your ...more
By mychildmatters (70), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 29, 13 8:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, your child matters, but what about all of the other children?
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Oct 29, 13 1:36 PM
VOTE YES! We are ONE community, no need for two districts in the same town!
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Oct 29, 13 11:17 AM
2 members liked this comment
One of the best articles I've read yet about this not-yet-ready-for-primetime merger is in Today's southampton patch written by Roger Blaugh. Before you decide how you are going to vote, please read it. Can place the link here as it will be removed.
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Oct 29, 13 12:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Agreed that the merge is not prime time ready Too little information to base a decision on. The districts should probably merge, but a clear explanation about WHY the taxes in Southampton would jump so much is in order.
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Oct 29, 13 1:25 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Oct 29, 13 1:33 PM
"Witch" the patch article you are ferring to is absolutly WRONG - the bottom line here is that this is NOT the final vote and unfortunatly all applicable tax data was not ready for this vote. The negative comments are ALL around taxes when no one really knows the exact amount of anything except that the rate MUST be 2.63 for everyone. So why not pass this so additional info can be obtained and more people can be truly educated. Bottom line here is that we ALL live in Southampton why are you or ...more
By mychildmatters (70), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 29, 13 1:37 PM
I also read the Patch blog by Mr. Blaugh. He calls for "transparency" and "clarity". He also calls for "more information". HOW CAN THAT BE WRONG????? What is wrong with this picture is that you've allowed yourself to be lead down the garden path FOR YEARS. Now you say, "let's get the village to pick up the tab". The party is over. You drank the Buds, you pick up the suds! The mistrust that Tuckahoe's Board has caused, has you looking for a victim. Guess what. You're looking for ghosts. ...more
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Oct 30, 13 10:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
If you live in Southampton and don't want to be a part of Community then LEAVE. My family was born and raised here for many generations and I'll be if Southampton residents don't want unity for all the children and families. If that is the fact and you can't afford a a couple hundred dollars added to your taxes you had better move now because with or withought the Merger Southampton Taxes WILL go up! So Taxes go up slightly with a strong unified School disctric and community or taxes go up more ...more
By mychildmatters (70), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 29, 13 1:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
"If you live in Southampton and don't want to be a part of Community then LEAVE."

This is precisely the kind of attitude that has destroyed school districts and typifies the Yahoo mentality that fails to hold school board members accountable for results and taxes paid.

If the school board members can answer only 10% of the questions asked about their policies that are incoherent and directionless that affect and upset the taxpayers' lives that have to foot the bill of all the ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 29, 13 8:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
I am someone from this community and although I highly disagree with the terminology of interloping slobs...I agree that those that haven't been here for awhile and go on pretense of "do gooders with higher knowledge"...it's alarming...but I agree with the rest of your thought...lets get ALL the information of WHY...(and mychildmatters...wise up! it has absolutely NOTHING TO DO WITH just kids playing together!!!-the issue IS EVERYTHING ABOUT LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY OR BEING BOUGHT OUT BY POLITICIANS!!! ...more
By UNITED states CITIZEN (207), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 30, 13 9:30 AM
Unity and Community are only part of the equation. Southampton has been set upon by the same people who sit on your board in the past. The complaint was the same: "Southampton is charging Tuckahoe too much". First the Fire District and now Tuckahoe. Clearly, SH said "enough is enough" and pushed back firmly. I regret that the damage this has done (community and otherwise) lied squarely at the feet of the Tuckahoe Board of Education. Bark at them, not us.
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Oct 30, 13 10:45 AM
With regards to the children attending Westhampton - However this ends they should be allowed to complete their education where they are, the same with the children already in Southampton. In No way shape or form is pulling any student out of a school district they have attended for years in the best interest of any student. Leave the students out of this fiscal mess. The schools can and should work out a deal in order to achieve the best educational outcome for all.
By mychildmatters (70), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 29, 13 1:50 PM
And what about the children in Westhampton? You are supporting a merger that specifically states that those children would be pulled from their school if the merger were to pass.

By the way, you speak so elequontly about "community" yet you tell a member of your community "If you live in Southampton and don't want to be a part of Community then LEAVE" ?!

Not sure why the Press removed Hazel's post. What rule did it violate? Ridiculous, she was only referring to another article ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Oct 29, 13 2:07 PM
" Causes people to say mean things to one another rather than working together to create a better community." OK, sounds reasonable.

But followed by: "If you live in Southampton and don't want to be a part of Community then LEAVE."

Hmmmm . . . anyone else notice the irony?

Good luck with your vote, folks. Eager to see how this turns out.
By SidViscuous (26), on Oct 29, 13 2:11 PM
Community - Definition Merriam-Webster ...a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood). : a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc. I live here my children were born here and I care about my community. If you don't understand what that means then leave! Really that is not clear Most people in this community do care about each other and I hope they show it in a time of need. When people do come together and work out all issues.
By mychildmatters (70), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 29, 13 2:17 PM
"If you don't agree with me, LEAVE!" Seriously, mychild?

By the way, "A group of people with the same, religion, race . . ." Is that what you're looking for? If so, I reccommend a kibutz or perhaps a commune.
By SidViscuous (26), on Oct 29, 13 2:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Good Luck to all! Just be ready for REAL change, things aren't always what they seem...
By just breath (82), yuck on Oct 29, 13 2:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
Go out and vote yes folks. If the school board can't come up with more concrete information between now and then, you can always abort in Dec.. If the default of Tuckahoe goes through the cost will inevitably be worse. This managed merger with State support might be the best of two bad choices. I want better projections of what the costs will be in the out years when the subsidies fade and how the school board will mitigate that.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Oct 29, 13 5:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
The comment in the article about Southampton losing tuition being paid for Tuckahoe high school students doesn't make much sense. Where else are the kids going to go? Home schooling? Must be mismanagement of funds if Tuckahoe is that close to going bankrupt. Perhaps they should cut out all the fluff and allot their funds for just the basics.
By hamptonite (26), hamptons on Oct 29, 13 5:47 PM
2 members liked this comment
The Tuckahoe School Board drove the district to what they claim will be insolvency. Why do Southampton tax payers have to pay for their mistakes? It's unconstitutional and unfair. Eventually both Southampton and Tuckahoe will have to stop their gleeful spending and get down to the business of running a lean and hopefully a more successful school district. For now, neither district has shown any attempt to better educate the kids or to stop spending millions on sports and a bloated administration. ...more
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 5:53 PM
3 members liked this comment
VOTE NO!! This is a no brainer. Its a raw deal… VOTE NO!
By Hillsnbells (43), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 6:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hillsnbells, this vote is just to buy time for the school board to come up with more concrete figures before the December vote. If you still don't like what you see you can vote no then. By the way, the Southampton association should be embarrassed about not presenting all the information in their ads. typical of old white republicans appealing to low information voters, shame on you!!!
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 6:44 PM
Your one of the low information voters.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 7:36 PM
Let's do what is right for the children of the east end. Vote YES! One community, one district and One tax rate.
By Out East (3), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 6:56 PM
No firm numbers, no due diligence. No thanks. Tuckahoe had their chance a decade ago. Poor management of money, poor decisions. Sorry, but no thanks.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 6:58 PM
Why would Southampton people want to vote to give themselves a tax increase? That's crazy!
By hamptonite (26), hamptons on Oct 29, 13 7:00 PM
2 members liked this comment
Vote NO.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 7:02 PM
The mantra seems to bethe catch phrase," We are one Community!" Upon entrancing the voting place in Southampton I saw several Tuckahoe students holding signs to vote yes.!! I did not see any Southampton students at the Tuckahoe school! Springs,East Quogue and Quogue schools are all about the same size as Tuckahoe. I don't see them going over the 2% cap. Of course their Superintendents and Head Custodian,Assitsant Custodian,and Treasurer probably don't have school gas credit cards either!! Pull ...more
By bayview (160), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 7:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 8:28 PM
Thank you for the information 'Mets Fan' I will be sure to vote "NO" again in December and will educate as many others to as well. I am not a member of the SH Association and am not offended by your rude comment, but I am surprised by your narrow-minded, obviously biased attitude toward republicans. I think you would be surprised at who they actually are and what they actually want for this country - not your negative nostalgic opinion of them. Maybe people should try coming together on positives ...more
By Hillsnbells (43), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 8:36 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Oct 30, 13 6:17 PM
It's interesting you say the community should come together with positives, but you voted against the merger. If the Tuckahoe kids don't go to school in Southampton, it will affect the school and communities (Southampton and Tuckahoe) negatively. Time for you to step up and make up your mind who you want to be.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Oct 30, 13 6:32 PM
Again, thank you for your words of wisdom. Might want to get your anger in check before you start posting. :-) Have a nice day - and I say that openly and honestly!
By Hillsnbells (43), Southampton on Oct 30, 13 8:51 PM
It's not anger, it's honesty your not used to hearing.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 2:46 PM
If the public vote fails in either, the merger proposal will fail. Soon afterward, the Tuckahoe School District will face limited school reserves—and possible bankruptcy—while the Southampton district could lose all of the tuition paid by Tuckahoe high school-age students, which amounts to roughly $3 million in annual revenue.
I guess the district should go bankruptcy ...and see what happens
By Bel (86), southampton on Oct 29, 13 8:40 PM
Well Tuckahoe board it is now time for you to grow some back bone or remove yourselves from this decision making process. You each have personal connections to this situation that make you completely un-objective when coming up with solutions. We will not allow you to destroy our elementary school and middle school for the high school. You tuition the high school students...find somewhere else to go OR stand up and finally put an end to the fiscal rape that has been done by Southampton and ...more
By photo friend (31), southampton on Oct 29, 13 9:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
You narrow minded people! This was NOT a binding vote! You could have voted yes today, and voted no in December if you did not get the budget you wanted, with the details you wanted. Now, because you voted down a STRAW vote, we do not even have the OPPORTUNITY to continue to discuss details!! I hope you 1,075 NO voters are happy with your selfish, narrow minded decision and jumping the gun. This was short sighted. Enough money to run ad after ad in the Press but not smart enough to pass a ...more
By Shinnecock Hills family (59), Southampton on Oct 29, 13 10:15 PM
Congrats to all the Tuckahoe/Westhampton kids, it's great that you guys won't be uprooted. A bright light in this tunnel. Thank you also to the 600+ that voted yes, it wasn't enough to get the job done, but it was good to see we weren't totally abandoned. We know where we stand with the majority of our community now, and I guess it's time to look to ourselves for survival. Hopefully our current high school students won't be uprooted, but unless the Southampton School District substantially lowers ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Oct 30, 13 12:11 AM
Nobody seems to want to acknowledge that this election asked taxpayers in Southampton district to agree to pay more, so that Tuckahoe taxpayers would get a major break in their taxes. Tuckahoe passed it by an 11-1 margin. Of course they did. It's remarkable that it got as many 'yes' votes as it did in Southampton. That's the whole story.
By Liman (30), Montauk on Oct 30, 13 7:25 AM
No Liman, you are not correct. The Tuckahoe school district asked Southampton merge because we can no longer afford to give our students a quality education, not because we wanted a freebie on taxes. It's really nice that Southampton has enjoyed a lower tax rate for years, but a lot of your tax breaks were at Tuckahoe's expense. Tuckahoe has been subsidizing Southampton taxes for years. That's all over now, and for those who didn't see it will soon.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Oct 30, 13 12:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
NO. That is NOT the whole story. The WHOLE story includes children. Human beings. Community members. Neighbors. That is the WHOLE story. The taxes are a PART of the story. You sound bitter over the Tuckahoe taxes going down. Tuckahoe has been paying a higher tax rate than SH for decades. This would just be paying the SAME tax rate. That is why Tuckahoe taxes would go down. And SH taxes going up.... you are talking about a couple hundred dollars over the course of a year! And THIS was ...more
By Shinnecock Hills family (59), Southampton on Oct 30, 13 7:51 AM
Shame on Southampton school voters
By local39 (14), southampton on Oct 30, 13 8:07 AM
2 members liked this comment

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Happy Halloween! Simply unbecoming.

Just be gracious, lick your wounds, and accept a well meaning community's understandable apprehension and fears. Tuckahoe has a well deserved reputation for wanton fiscal profligacy and horrific academics that are simply getting ever worse - a stagnant cesspool in the view of many.

You do us all a disservice by seeming vengeful simply because Southampton was honestly concerned about their own future ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 30, 13 9:53 AM
not sure where you are getting the idea that tuckahoe is hindering in any way the education of a southampton student by being uneducated. southampton has had a horrible reputation for years in that dept including my graduating class. i dont know why everyone keeps saying bailing tuckahoe out, for years we have been paying shs enormous tuition rates that helped keep your taxes down and help provide the extras shs students as well as incoming tuckahoe students enjoy. in order to keep the same level ...more
By kmh (12), southampton on Oct 30, 13 12:07 PM
Hopefully both districts will be ok. You're right, Tuckahoe has options for survival, but those options are not good for the Southampton school district. It would have been better to do this amicably. You're wrong with all your nonsense that Southampton didn't want us for reasons that weren't financial. Perhaps a vocal, narrow minded minority, but mostly it was all about taxes. Our taxes going down and theirs going up created resentment. It would have been preferable and wise for both boards ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Oct 30, 13 12:31 PM
Obbservant and ALL OTHERS WHO VOTED NO! Your simply a joke! Talk about not having a clue. My children are in all Honors and AP classes& play all sports. There is no cesspool in Tuckahoe we are Fantastic and actually our children work really hard. You are the Cesspool causing a bad taste , Those who voted No are like the BULLY on the playgroud. Tuckahoe disctrict is small Southampton is is larger of course you will have more votes if that makes you happy to squash the small guy you are all sick. ...more
By mychildmatters (70), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 30, 13 10:50 AM
mychild and observant stand as perfect examples of what is wrong with the residents of both districts. Each one looking out for their own best interests while resorting to hollow threats and vapid insults, but no solutions.
By SidViscuous (26), on Oct 30, 13 12:30 PM
Sid, if you read any of my posts, I threaten no one, try to shed light on the problem always, but I do plead guilty in excoriating the disastrous performance of the clueless Tuckahoe Board that never took responsibility for their obvious failings, and has destroyed what was once a great little school residents were so proud of. It could disappear.

The Board has driven so many families out of their beloved Tuckahoe protesting the academic and fiscal Frankenstein and East End joke they turned ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 31, 13 12:54 AM
In theory Obbservant, those are all great ideas. In reality many of those ideas won't work in today's world.
Many Tuckahoe board elections are unopposed. In good corporations, people get paid, these are volunteer positions, no experience required. We have a doctor, a pharmacist and I'm not sure what the other does, on our board. You sound qualified, perhaps you should run? I believe Mr. Grisnik is up this year.

NYS law does not allow for these positions to be appointed.

You ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 8:30 PM
Lamm, those are knowledgeable, well articulated points which appear to come from an education background, and really shed light on the Tuck options. And thanks for saying I sound qualified to run for the Tuck Board though some cynic might say that could have been a back handed compliment, considering the incumbents. So I will take each of your points from last to first:

1)I'm advocating a voucher system, illegal in NY State but legal in others: One of the great problems with vouchers is ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Nov 1, 13 8:29 AM
Ok - can we just ALL agree that this argument has 99% to do about money and 1% to do about what's best for the children?

I can guarentee that if the taxes in Tuckahoe were going up and in Southampton they were going down the votes would be reversed.

If no taxes changed, the vote would have passed.

People DO NOT vote to increase their taxes. People will ALWAYS vote to DECREASE their taxes. It's simple math and it's unfortunate that what's best for the school children ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 30, 13 11:00 AM
Do kids go to these schools? If you take a look at how their respective boards act you'd think that the schools are nothing but repositories for tax dollars and administrators.

The real issue with this entire merger process: school board members.
By SidViscuous (26), on Oct 30, 13 12:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
I'm not a resident in Southampton. I live in Amityville. Currently the school district here (as in every other place) has taxed us above & beyond the actual $ amount necessary to educate children. Schools are big business that use children for bait to convince adults to continually spend more money on their programs/teachers/pensions/healthcare/etc. Every year, this exorbitant tax bill increases. School districts are a self-feeding bureaucracy that will never stop until people demand to re-organize ...more
By Dolores (2), amityville on Oct 30, 13 11:41 AM
We all preach freedom in this country. How about freedom of education? The education system is what is keeping people down, because unions have a firm grip in how much we pay for education. This idiot of a president we have keep preaching socialized medicine meanwhile socialized education has been a giant failure
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 30, 13 11:54 AM
Walk into Southamptons High School Gym, look at all those banners and feel your chest swell with pride. How many of those banners wouldn't be there without Tuckahoe? From my era at least 6 would hang in Westhampton Beach thats only counting men's athletics. Southampton High School was built for 1200 students and in those original calculations that included all of the Tuckahoe students.
Lets get some real numbers and figure this out.
By Lester Ware (15), Sag Harbor on Oct 30, 13 11:48 AM
The failure of the Southampton/Tuckahoe merger is not a failure of policy, it is a failure of message and personalities. The Tuckahoe and Southampton Town Boards operate like authoritarian fiefdoms that have little concern for the serfs that they were elected to represent.

I am quite positive that neither board will take any responsibility for the failure, just as they refuse to take responsibility for the self-inflicted wounds that brought them to this point. Successive Tuckahoe boards ...more
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Oct 30, 13 12:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
The merger failure was about dollars, nothing more. As another poster said, people aren't going to vote themselves higher taxes. Even under Linda Rozzi, before the boards that you so despised, Tuckahoe budgets failed and were passed by single digits. There are a handful of people out there who do nothing but complain about school boards and blame them for every conceivable ill, and possibly even voted against what may be the best current option for both districts (in my opinion at least), just ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Oct 30, 13 1:39 PM
These school boards COMPLETELY mismanaged this entire process. Period. They brought a proposal to the public without all of the answers in place and said, "Just let us get this first vote passed and then we'll tell you what will actually happen"

Now they pretend as if they had no idea of what the outcome would be? Come on, folks. Let's get serious here. What did this merger study cost? What did the vote cost? What did the failed community outreach cost?

The entire idea of ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Oct 30, 13 2:56 PM
3 members liked this comment
As someone who makes a living in public relations, I agree with your first paragraph completely. The rollout of this "plan"--if you can even call it that--was an utter disaster, a what-not-to-do in swaying public opinion your direction.

I am actually hoping that any officials now saying they are surprised by the outcome are saying so simply to save face, because if they truly are surprised, they are far too clueless to be entrusted with the education of our children.
By BigBlue (12), Water Mill on Oct 30, 13 6:10 PM
I still can't figure out why anyone in the Southampton DIstrict would want a tax increase of 9 to as high as 25 percent when the Tuckahoe District will get a tax break lowering their taxes by 66 percent. And then what kind of income would they have provided to the merged district? Not enough. In fact, they would have dragged down the Southampton District with them into bankruptcy. The purported loss of $3 million has been made out to be a disaster for Southampton but it's not. If the Southampton ...more
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Oct 30, 13 4:10 PM
2 members liked this comment
The headline and the sentiment is in direct contrast to reality. Tuckahoe is in Southampton. That would make Tuckahoe voters Southampton voters. Of all of the votes that were cast 53% of them were in favor of the merger. 47% of all votes cast were against the merger. The reality of the situation is that Southampton voters approved the merger yesterday.
By CarlaMa (4), southampton on Oct 30, 13 4:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, Tuckahoe and Westhampton are in Southampton. The only conclusion that can be drawn here is that a small number of total Southampton voters participated and the majority of those voters pulled the lever in favor of the merger. The powers that be have heard them loudly and clearly it is guaranteed that they will get the merger they have requested. If you don't believe any of this, it should not phase you.
By CarlaMa (4), southampton on Oct 30, 13 5:16 PM
CarlaMa, you seem to misunderstand, or are you intentionally trying to confuse things?

We are talking about three separate school DISTRICTS, which have distinct geographical borders on a map, and these three school districts do not overlap at all. These three geographic areas are entirely separate:

1. Southampton School District
2. Tuckahoe School District
3. Westhampton School District

[among others within the Town of Southampton]

You seem to be referring ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 3:42 AM
2 members liked this comment
Except that the process does not work that way. The merger must be approved in both districts per 1705(c), not by a majority of the combined districts.
By diy_guy (101), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 7:16 AM
pbr there is a diff being tuckahoe doesnt have a high school and the zip code is the same for sh and tuckahoe mail is not addressed tuckahoe ny it is southampton ny11968 shs s/b tuckahoes highschool without tuition payment.
By kmh (12), southampton on Oct 31, 13 8:19 AM
kmh, "s/b" issues do not affect where the school district lines are drawn on a map. Zip codes are irrelevant. One large map, different school districts which do not overlap.

The Suffolk County Comprehensive Plan has a nice set of maps in its appendix. On p. 21/34 of the PDF (in Firefox browser), the East End school districts are shown in different colors. [link below]

Westhampton School District is on p. 20/34.

Each school district is separate and distinct from the others.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 3:29 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 3:29 PM
"Suffolk County NY Comprehensive Plan 2035"
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 4:25 PM
How many students went to Westhampton and how many students went to Southampton upon moving up from Tuckahoe?
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Oct 31, 13 6:44 AM
Page 13 of the merger study indicates there are a total of 149 students from Tuckahoe enrolled in grades 9-12. Page 14 of the merger study indicates 97 students from Tuckahoe are enrolled in SHS.
By diy_guy (101), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 7:21 AM
none went to whb for the graduating class of 2013 because of a exclusive deal with shs to send all our kids to shs. this was never put to a vote because it was suppose to be for one yr so there didnt have to be a vote and i think both boards were thinking the merger would take place and then there would be no choice and shs would get all of tuckahoes students in the years to come
By kmh (12), southampton on Oct 31, 13 8:13 AM
I believe the Tuckahoe BOE had 133 SHS students enrolled and attending as of last night's meeting.
By Shinnecock Hills family (59), Southampton on Nov 5, 13 1:33 PM
39 in WHB grades 10-12
By Shinnecock Hills family (59), Southampton on Nov 5, 13 1:35 PM
Some of the comments express confusion about why the taxes would go up in Southampton and down in Tuckahoe. The reason is simple: The way the district lines are drawn, the particularly expensive real estate, including that in the Village and on the ocean, falls into the Southampton district, whereas that in Tuckahoe is more modest, if you can call anything in 11968 modet anymore. Being as the districts function as one, practically speaking, the residents of the Southampton district have had a bit ...more
By easternislander (1), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 7:38 AM
I'm not sure how anyone can argue with the fact that the majority of voters voted for the merger. There is no way around that fact. When you count the votes, 53% of them were yes. There can be no argument about that. The majority of voters voted to merge the schools. Twist that any way you want but the vote was in favor of the merger. The people in charge know that the people who voted did so in favor of the merger. Thanks for your detailed explanation and hope to see you at the ribbon cutting ...more
By CarlaMa (4), southampton on Oct 31, 13 7:46 AM
That's not at all how voting for something like this works. Even if there were 3 voters who came out from the Southampton school district, if 2 voted "no" it would be "no". Even if 1,000 out of 1,000 Tuckahoe voters voted "yes".

You are assuming that the "majority" means the "majority" of voters, but that is not the case. As Marlinspike points out - it's similar to the electorcal college.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 31, 13 10:08 AM
CR 39 closed looks like a accident. Traffic backed up to exit 65. The press needs a general category for messages and traffic.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 31, 13 8:44 AM
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One point everyone misses about the taxes. SHS spend more per student than any school district in NYS except maybe EHS, Yet your taxes are about 1/3 of what most districts spend on Long Island. Both of these districts especially SH waste so much money but no one notices because your taxes are so low. Instead of fighting amongst yourselves maybe should be looking into the insane waste of money that has been going on for years without any increases in academic acheivement in Southampton.
By vito (5), Speonk on Oct 31, 13 11:28 AM
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Look no further than the Bridgehampton School District. I think they have one of the "cost per student" in the state and the district continually underperforms. That's because the district serves mostly blue collar families who can't afford private school. Anyone with a bit of money living year round will send their kid to Ross instead of Bridgehampton.

The admins look at the funds they get from all the summer homes and think it's free money - with the amount they spend per student they ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 31, 13 11:43 AM
Why in the name of all that's holy would anyone vote themselves a tax INCREASE??!! There are pros and cons concerning where we choose to live and one is our property taxes, Southampton school district has a very low tax rate where Tuckahoe does not, why should those who chose Southampton subsidize those who CHOOSE to live in Tuckahoe? Pesonal responsibility kids, personal responsibility.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 31, 13 12:28 PM
Exactly. Houses are cheaper in tuckahoe school district because of the higher tax rates. Should the owners get increased property values on the backs of SH tax district property owners?

Lets do a little off the collar math. If SH tax district had to come up with 3million due to a complete loss of tuckahoe revenue, that would increase our budget, and therefore taxes, roughly 5% from 60 mill to 63mill. I'll take that 5%

If we completely absorb the tuckahoe district out taxes ...more
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Oct 31, 13 3:19 PM
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Perhaps they'll be even lower, since you won't need to pay coaches or buy uniforms for some of the teams you won't be able to field without the Tuckahoe kids. You won't need all those extra AP and honors classes that Tuckahoe helps fill either. A few less instruments perhaps since they may not have enough kids for the band. Maybe some teachers can be laid off as well, with 1/3 less students. I guess after school the remaining kids who lose these activities can always go and hang out in the ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Oct 31, 13 9:03 PM
Where are the tuckahoe students going to go? What other district is willing to 'absorb' this financial mess masquerading as a school district?

The state will come in, reduce the tuition payment formula and amounts, and the kids will still be able to go to SH or WHB.

The taxpayers of Tuckahoe can clean up their own financial mess.
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Nov 1, 13 10:17 AM
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Why not let kids go to a private school if they want. The public schools should give a credit to kids going to private schools. This would save a fortune in costs for the district and give a better education to many students. Oh wait the union and board aren't interested in either idea because it stops spending.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 31, 13 1:15 PM
Separation of Church and State. Catholic schools have been lobbying for this for decades to no avail. The government does not allow the school districts to do that- even if it would save money.
By Shinnecock Hills family (59), Southampton on Nov 1, 13 6:32 PM
60 million dollars to educate 1700 kids gee thats 35,000 per kid per year Harvard doesn't charge that much. Where is all this money going? Don't answer we all know, down the drain without the rich everyone in SH would be paying 25k per year in property taxes to live in the average house. What a waste of money. You don't see SHSD in any of the top ratings for school districts on LI. No accountability
By vito (5), Speonk on Oct 31, 13 4:01 PM
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Chief1 and Vito: In my post to SidViscous above, those are options, possible solutions that I outlined to fix the Tuckahoe mess, applicable to any East End school district. Clueless school board trustees, the vast majority of whom have ZERO education expertise (like selecting janitors to be the overseers of the Manhattan Project), discover their newly found powers to lord it over a vast group families, start behaving like banana republic despots, issuing edicts for all the taxpayers to meekly accept ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 31, 13 8:23 PM
I respect the voting results, but it baffles me that people are still so misinformed. Unfortunately those same people have very loud voices and spread the wrong information as accurate.
By seriously concerned (6), Southampton on Nov 1, 13 10:19 AM
Southampton School taxpayers are very fortunate to have a low tax rate due
to its high assessment roll because of the large estates and high real estate values. On the other hand, districts like Hampton Bays, Flanders, Riverhead have high tax rates because of the low assessments. Basically, they are poorer districts. Maybe, Tuckahoe should consider contracting with Hampton Bays School District. It would be beneficial to both districts most likely in tax savings. Also, some of the their ...more
By Jimion (129), Hampton Bays on Nov 2, 13 10:53 AM
Southampton School taxpayers are very fortunate to have a low tax rate due
to its high assessment roll because of the large estates and high real estate values. On the other hand, districts like Hampton Bays, Flanders, Riverhead have high tax rates because of the low assessments. Basically, they are poorer districts. Maybe, Tuckahoe should consider contracting with Hampton Bays School District. It would be beneficial to both districts most likely in tax savings. Also, some of the their ...more
By Jimion (129), Hampton Bays on Nov 2, 13 10:54 AM
By sagchick1 (3), East Quogue on Nov 9, 13 2:28 PM