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Sep 11, 2014 9:05 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School Board Decides To Bring Tuckahoe Merger To A Straw Vote Again

Sep 19, 2014 11:33 AM

The Southampton School District has decided to continue work on an annexation of the Tuckahoe School District, voting on Tuesday night to schedule a new straw vote on the proposed merger for November 18.

The straw vote will be the first of two public referendums on the reconfigured annexation plan. If approved separately in the straw vote by both districts, the merger would move to a final official vote of the combined school districts in January that would need majority approval to merge the two districts.

The decision to move forward with a vote came two weeks after a call from Southampton officials for supporters of the merger to come forward, saying that all they had heard to that point was negative feedback. The merger proposal had been rejected by Southampton voters in a straw vote last year, although Tuckahoe voters were overwhelmingly in favor of it.

On Thursday night, September 11, roughly 75 people from both the Southampton and Tuckahoe districts attended a public hearing, with many speaking in favor of the annexation for the sake of the children.

“I appreciate the people who got up and spoke,” Southampton School Board Vice President Donald King said at the end of the meeting. “I need to hear you people talk to me and tell me what you really want in this district, so it is nice to see the community come together so we can put the politics aside.”

On Tuesday night, the Southampton School Board followed up by voting 6-0 to move forward with the straw vote on November 18. Board member Jake Wilson was not present at the meeting.

Since the first vote failed last year, Southampton has come up with a new “merger concept,” which includes two pieces of legislation from Albany—one that would slowly roll out the tax increases for Southampton residents, and another that would allow the district to use capital reserve funds to offset tax increases. The district is using a line-by-line comparison of both districts’ budgets to create a new, joint spending plan without any redundancies.

With the new spending plan, the district believes it can offer more concrete numbers to taxpayers. According to Southampton officials, the current Tuckahoe school tax levy is $16,855,182, while the Southampton school tax levy is $50,749,238. Combining services and joining the two districts, creating a combined school tax levy of $67,604,420 for the 2015-16 school year, Southampton officials believe, also can curb unnecessary spending in the two districts.

With the reevaluated figures from Southampton, the merger would account for an incremental increase in the tax rate for a home in Southampton over the next decade from $2.44 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $2.77 per $1,000. That means that for the 2024-25 school year, the tax associated exclusively with the merger would add no more than $330 to the overall school tax bill for a house valued at $1 million. For the years in between, the taxes paid to cover the merger would rise gradually until reaching that $330 cap.

Currently, Tuckahoe residents are paying $7.57 per $1,000 in total school taxes. By 2024-25, they would be paying the same $2.77 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, a fraction of the current rate.

At the meeting on Thursday night, residents, students and teachers expressed their dismay that Southampton taxpayers who opposed the merger were putting money over what was best for all the students in the Tuckahoe and Southampton communities.

“I moved here to be a part of this community,” Water Mill resident Sharon Cardel said at Thursday’s meeting. “It would break my heart, and many other hearts, to see it ripped apart. I think the people in Tuckahoe and in Southampton are one community, and I think the kids will feel the split even more than the adults.”

Several Southampton and Tuckahoe residents echoed Ms. Cardel’s sentiments, saying the annexation would be best for students of both communities, and that it is about time for these two communities to be joined.

“I came to support the opportunity for a vote to merge,” Southampton resident Mark Parash said. “Despite the fact the vote failed, 40 percent of voters still approved this, and over the last few months the figures have changed and are much more advantageous to the Southampton district. I feel this is an opportunity to create one whole school district for the greater good.”

According to one resident, Kelly Gang, the merger is important for every member of the community to foster a cohesive neighborhood. Although she does not have children in the schools, she said it is important for every kid to be able to feel as if they are at home here.

“I am in full support of this merger,” Ms. Gang said at the regular Board of Education meeting on Tuesday. “Our whole district goes from the canal to Scuttle Hole Road. Those are all of our children, and they need to know they are a part of this community—I could care less what it costs me.”

Still, not all Southampton residents are convinced. Southampton parent Laurie Tutt is against the merger, saying the district does not have the infrastructure or buses to handle the influx of students from Tuckahoe. Ms. Tutt said she is also concerned the about unexpected expenses the district could incur in the next 10 years, for example if it had to pay off debt services for Tuckahoe, ultimately decided to put into place an extended-day program, built a new administration office or had to do emergency repairs.

“We do not have the infrastructure for this merger,” Ms. Tutt said on Tuesday. “I think people need to stop and look at the bigger picture.”

On Wednesday morning, Tuckhaoe Superintendent Chris Dyer said the district is happy to see that Southampton is moving forward. Mr. Dyer said that at a Tuckahoe Board of Education meeting next Monday, the board will discuss plans for its own straw vote. The board is likely to vote to schedule the straw poll on the same day, November 18, he said. Polling times for both districts have not yet been set.

“We are very appreciative of the fact that Southampton is moving forward,” Mr. Dyer said. “We believe it to be the right path for our kids to ensure they get all of the educational opportunities that are a part of a quality education.”

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The Southampton school district admittedly has not provide all the financial facts for the voters. This is not in the best interest of the taxpayers.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Sep 11, 14 9:51 PM
The facts are there if you choose not to ignore them. Don't worry. We, the awakened community members who now know that we will have to do a better job of helping the district get the facts out to counter the fear-mongering, will do just that. The superintendent mentioned the presentation he made last night is on the district website in the meantime.
By remytwoton (23), southampton on Sep 12, 14 4:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you to those that came out tonight to show the board that there are lots of people in favor of a merger. Often people only came out to complain, so it appeared that they are representative of what the community wants, which clearly is not the case. April, what's in "the best interest of the taxpayers" is a stable, close knit community that sticks together, not one that fights tooth and nail to separate us.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 11, 14 11:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
The people that oppose the merger are not trying to "separate us" whatever that means. We do not want to pay higher taxes or tuckahoe's debt. Yes, there is a whole lot to complain about regarding this merger. This is a BUM deal for Southampton.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 4:26 AM
If you vote "no" on the merger and do so because of $330 per $1 million assessed value on your home, then I would find it hard to believe that you are doing so because of the money. $330 does not warrant changing the fabric of our community. If the students who currently live in the Tuckahoe district are no longer a part of the high school because of your "no" vote, then I will know it is because you absolutely don't want "them" there. You have as much as said so with your disparaging comments ...more
By remytwoton (23), southampton on Sep 12, 14 4:47 AM
2 members liked this comment
The meeting was very well publicized April. There was a presentation given and a chance for questions. There were only two people in the room who had anything to say that was not overwhelmingly positive, one person had no clue about anything, the other was worried about where to park the extra buses.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 9:18 AM
75 people attended, is that really a large turnout?? How many voters in the SHSD??
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 6:44 AM
For a Southampton meeting, that is a large turnout.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 9:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
$330 is far from what the the increase in taxes will be 10 yrs from now. Why would anyone take those numbers to be the facts? The district reworked the numbers themselves, they are the ones pushing for this merger, shouldn't an independent firm rework the numbers not the people pushing for it. I'm curious as to what was said negatively about Tuckahoe students,.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 6:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
April, why do you think the Southampton school board is pushing for the merger, just curious what your thought process is.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 9:55 AM
Better go back and read it again. $330 is what the total increase will be...PHASED IN OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS. If the merger fails, and Tuckahoe takes its school budget to another district, Southampton LOSES a hefty portion of its student body in the HS, along with about $3M in tuition payments. This is a no-brainer from a financial standpoint, and should be a win for those who value community.
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Sep 23, 14 9:45 AM
What kind of reporting is this paper practicing. Sure your absolutely right 80 percent were for the merger, but most that spoke were from Tuckahoe. If the so called Tuckahoe unity group wants to keep Southampton together than they should foot the bill. They say its only 300 dollars more a year. I say you pay it. Why should Southampton pay for the decades of mismanagement by the Tuckahoe district? The Southampton board needs to be removed if they spend one more cent on this merger . It has no support ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 12, 14 7:56 AM
Chief, again I need to call you out on your facts. Most speakers were absolutely not from Tuckahoe.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 9:23 AM
The meeting was packed with Tuckahoe residents. Very few Southampton
District residents showed up. There is absolutely no way to know how much
support the merger has in Southampton. I think very little. And the numbers have not been produced to actually show how much it will cost. Adding
500 students (Tuckahoe) to a school population of 1,500 (Southampton) adds
approximately 33% more students. The revenue from the Tuckahoe district will only pay for less than 10% of the merged ...more
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 8:32 AM
"Threaten" to take away the high school students? Really? Tuckahoe is broke, they can't afford the average $35,000 per year they've been paying to subsidize your taxes. It's not a threat, it's the reality of the situation.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 9:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
Local citizen, we're you even at the meeting on Thursday?? First of all, the majority of people in the room were Southampton School District residents. Secondly, not a single Tuckahoe parent spoke at the meeting. How can you say "at the meeting it was clear that the only people trying to separate from Southampton were the Tuckahoe residents" when absolutely nothing was said of the sort.
By remytwoton (23), southampton on Sep 12, 14 9:55 PM
3 members liked this comment
The two comments above are incorrect...Most people at last nights meeting were from Southampton School district and most who spoke were from Southampton school district, as well a many students from Southampton High School all in favor of the merger!
By tuckahoemom (19), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 9:14 AM
The best thing that came out of last night was a clear, positive message of unity. Zach Epley clearly pointed out how close the ties are in his moving statement. It was civilized, there was no name calling. It wasn't about money for once, because clearly the tax issue isn't substantial enough to rip apart a community and send 500 kids packing to another district.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 9:50 AM
2 members liked this comment
Let zach Epley and the students who spoke pay the increased taxes.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 12, 14 10:36 AM
Do you realize that your taxes wil be increasing one way or the other? The only difference is that if the merger does not go through, your taxes will go up and programs (and jobs) will be cut.
By S'hamptonNative (84), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 7:01 AM
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Not according to the Southampton superintendent.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 6:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Well maybe the "speakers" were not from Tuckahoe but the actual people who can vote were from Tuckahoe and not from Southampton last night. I find the input from students is nice in terms of school spirit but entirely inappropriate unless they are paying taxes in the district.
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 12:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Zach Epley is a sh taxpayer and said that he is willing to pay the small tax increase. Some of the students are eligible to vote and this is about their future and the future of their children as much as it's about yours. BTW, the captain of that girls track team is also vp of student council and co-president of the southampton chapter of the national honor society. She's my daughter, a tuckahoe graduate.
By amybeth (2), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 12:59 PM
Zach Epley is married and living in the southampton school district.
By amybeth (2), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 1:27 PM
Why would that be relevant? Or are you one of those people who believes landlords take their tax payments out of their own pockets rather than passing on that expense to the tenant? How many renters get the income tax deduction for property taxes?

You mean the net cost of property taxes then is actually HIGHER for renters than property owners? You may now continue with your ignorant rant.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Sep 12, 14 10:24 PM
I believe what he's trying to say is the higher the taxes, the higher the rent. An easy concept to understand if you ask me. I thought Mr Epley said he is a homeowner, SH School District. The Tuckahoe teachers that spoke were there as SH school district resident/homeowners as well, with kids in the SH schools.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 10:53 PM
Don't be so obtuse - of course the money to pay the taxes comes from the tenants, it just gets passed through the landlord or do you believe those house exist tax free?. Your family's heritage is not a factor in the equation, or your fantasies. You are "baring" your prejudices.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Sep 13, 14 12:51 PM
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The homeowner bears the tax burden, mortgage burden, etc. It can be assumed he charges rent that will cover that plus more. To say that renters don't pay property tax is correct, but the taxes are paid for that parcel, just via the owner/bank.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Sep 13, 14 2:42 PM
Whatever your opinion on the issue is, you have to agree it is more respectable to stand up for what you believe vs. sitting at your computer behind an anon colloquial moniker and sling thoughtless one liners. It can't be the $$ anymore. It's immaterial. So what is it really that you have a problem with?
By Johnny P (3), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 6:13 PM
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The parents of the Reservation should take a hard look at the district of Tuckahoe. This Native American word meaning root originated with the Algonquians of Virginia and would represent a true return to their roots. There is no need for the Reservation to give an exclusive to Southampton. The district named by their captors after a town in Mother England has given them nothing special in return for their decades of loyalty. The kids of the Reservation deserve at least a choice for a change don't ...more
By Johnny P (3), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 6:55 PM
Mr. Epley is an employee of the school. His job depends on having as many students as possible under the Southampton DIstrict's control. So he is more
than a voter. His livelihood is dependent on the school.
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 7:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
Zach Epley's livelihood does not depend on the school! He may be a coach, but he certainly doesn't make his livelihood from that small after school position. Not even sure if he still does that job
By S'hamptonNative (84), Southampton on Sep 20, 14 1:38 PM
It is quite simple. It's not a perfect world. In a not-so-perfect world, taxpayers do not vote in favor of increasing their own taxes. The opposition of the merger is not a community issue, but an obvious financial issue. There is truly nothing that a merger could improve, instead causing higher taxes for Southampton District taxpayers, even more ridiculous salaries and benefits for employees, the eventual need for more construction and employees; basically tons of wasted money. It's completely ...more
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 9:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
They are there to do what's right for the kids. The school board members are volunteers, there's nothing in it for them.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 10:57 PM
That's false. People vote for candidates knowing they have agendas that will likely increase their taxes. Obamacare for one example. People believe it's for the greater good.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 12, 14 10:21 PM
Since were on the subject of do it for the kids why don't you explain how this would help students? This issue was decided by taxpayers overwhelmingly and there is no reason to revote. I love the idea of students having an opinion but I don't take financial advice from teenagers and neither should the board because they don't vote! Listen to the people you represent not the faculty and tuckahoe residents.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 13, 14 1:20 AM
A larger student body allows a school to offer more for the students. More kids=more choices in the classroom. This exposes kids to different career options, more ap's, more sports, more clubs, more friends. The merger also teaches the kids about the value of community, about not turning away 1/4 of the kids that live in the very same neighborhood as you because of petty greed. Everyone complains today that kids are selfish. I suspect it's poor role modeling.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 7:53 AM
Not following you there. The kids don't even meet until high school. All the towns are neighbors & kids interact with each other. Be honest, this strictly about tax envy. You want what your neighbors (Southampton) have-a lower tax rate. Sorry, that is not fair. You bought where you bought. It was you choice. This bullying from Tuckahoe is ridiculous.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Sep 20, 14 5:54 AM
2 members liked this comment
Why don't you explain you are really afraid of chief. You can afford the pennies. What is really the issue. C'mon, let's hear it. It's not money. I dare you to state your true concerns about the merger. It's not a few hundred bucks phased in over 10 years.
By Johnny P (3), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 4:01 AM
It's more than a few hundred bucks and it increases every year after the first ten years forever. The numbers do not show the entire tax situation nor do they show how Southampton is going to pay for the large influx of students when the Tuckahoe District taxes will only pay for less than one tenth of the budget. The are adding 500 students which is 33 percent more students. WHo's going to pay for this? You guessed it, Southampton tax payers. And, if the numbers soar, then the school will have ...more
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 7:37 AM
Taxes increase every year, always. For the next 10 years Tuckahoe will be paying far more to give our kids the same exact education in the same exact classroom as yours, just as we have in the past. If you did your homework you would see that the numbers in Tuckahoe are actually declining. 500 includes the high school, those kids are already in your classroom. You and your friends also never, ever address the fact that Tuckahoe has been paying more than their fair share for decades!!
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 8:10 AM
Southampton superintendent has not told the residents what the profit margin is.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 7:39 PM
2 members liked this comment
Tuckahoe CHOSE to not to merge years ago and as a result have paid more. That was their choice!!! Don't blame Southampton for the problems at Tuckahoe!!!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 12:58 PM
Get over it already sandy, that was over 20 years ago. Most of us didnt even live here then. It doesn't negate what a handful of whiners here wont acknowledge - that Tuckahoe has subsidized Southampton taxes for decades and will for the next 10 years. Now you are crying that its better for everyone to vote no because YOUR taxes will go up a little! Lol. There are so many really good reasons to support this merger, and clearly you guys are becoming the minority.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 4:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
Taxes in Southampton aren't going up just a "little" and that's the issue!! NOTHING else. Personally I don't really care if there is a merger or not..I care about my taxes and so does most of SH!!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 5:09 PM
2 members liked this comment
They're actually going down as a result of the merger for the first few years. I wouldn't speak for "most of SH", you will likely find a different outcome next time 'round.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 11:00 PM
Not sure what you mean marlin...I did live here 20 years ago, not in Tuckahoe though. When I left my last place to move 5 miles away I had no idea that my children would be treated like they don't belong in Southampton, by a small minority. Folks were much kinder then.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 5:14 PM
And 500 years ago whose families lived here . . . ?
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Sep 13, 14 5:14 PM
It has NOTHING to do with not wanting "your" children..it's taxes folks!!!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 5:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm not buying that. Its not enough money to ship 500 Southampton residents off to another town for their schooling, not if you think with your heart and your head.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 7:11 PM
southampton is run just as poorly and as inefficiently as Tuckahoe the only reason they haven't gone broke like Tuckahoe is that they have a much larger tax base to foot the bill. How is it that SHSD has the highest per student spending on LI and yet the average homeowner pays one third the taxes as homeowners to the west pay? They are both districts that need to be audited to fine out where all the money is going. Why are SHSD test scores and graduation rates so low for what they spend they should ...more
By maxwell (169), speonk on Sep 13, 14 8:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
Because the people who pay the biggest tax bills dont use the schools but need more landscapers and contractors
By smacw (240), New York on Sep 22, 14 7:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Maxwell, many kids out here lack educational support at home, it's not the entire issue, but a large part of it. Southampton offers advanced classes for those who can take advantage of it, not enough kids do. I can go on and on about this subject, but suffice it to say it is not all the school's fault.
As far as the Tuckahoe plan goes,it should be mentioned that as a result of the merger, Southampton SD taxes should actually decrease until the 2018-2019 school year, when the tax rate increases ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 13, 14 10:00 PM
School budgets/taxes have never gone down, guess you can always dream.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Sep 14, 14 11:09 AM
"These numbers are only as they relate to the merger, not the usual increases that come every year"
And from an earlier post above:
"Taxes increase every year, always."
Don't twist my words please April.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 14, 14 1:19 PM
Lamm please stop the propaganda of taxes going up pennies for southampton district taxpayers. Southampton has low taxes because of estate area residents using no services and footing the bill. Tuckahoe does not lower our tax bill pure and simple. No one has ever seen a full report by an independent group to show what taxes will be. The district doesn't need a straw vote they already had the real vote, and this has become a distraction.
Its funny how Tuckahoe residents have the audacity to say ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 14, 14 11:24 AM
Maybe they don't use "resources", but they have usurped some that are far more valuable than those you cite with their presence...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 22, 14 8:37 PM
The "propaganda" came from two studies, one independent, one not and they weren't far apart; but I'm sure you know better Chief. No, there was never a real vote, just a straw vote. There were never incentives either, and there was only a 20% separation during the straw vote (contrary to the 90% comments you posted all over). You continually make things up. Even after the merger your taxes will still be very low. Time will tell, as there will be a straw vote soon and the tide is turning. Good ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 14, 14 12:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
The tide is turning in your head. Taxpayers know the numbers are always lowballed. Taxpayers care only about the bottom line so please don't tell us some nonsense of better education.Tuckahoe has run there school like a bunch of drunken sailors spending money they never had. Now the governor put a 2% cap on taxes and its game over for Tuckahoe. The lesson is you can't spend what you don't have, and I find it outrageous that the Tuckahoe board thinks they can blame Southampton. First the residents ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 14, 14 2:50 PM
3 members liked this comment
I attended last week's meeting. There are numbers and figures and taxes involved in this controversial topic. But the thing that I took away most from the meeting last week was ......

Although the idea for this merger/proposal may perhaps have originated from financial analysis, the decision at hand is mostly hinging on two competing points of view: (1) Southampton tax payers and fear/opposition to increased taxes and (2) the well-being of the children who are the primary benefactors ...more
By eastend56 (2), Southampton on Sep 15, 14 10:27 AM
3 members liked this comment
see how expensive development is!!

and NIMBY predator developers go dump density issues on other areas rarely in their own back yard.
. .
this comments section is incredibly valuable debate! once again I read for the comments as much as the articles.

By david h (405), southampton on Sep 15, 14 12:16 PM
So let me get this straight east end. If we spend more tax dollars our children will be more sucessful? The 35k a year isn't enough to accomplish this goal of yours? I think this community really needs an education on how to educate. Maybe they can watch Sister Kathy educate kids with 5k a student over at our Lady of the Hamptons. The community will see the stars she is turning out, and the commitment to students she has. In public school you waste energy on mergers and how to avoid core testing. ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 15, 14 1:52 PM
You do realize that OLH spends more than $5k per student, right? They have other sources of revenue rather than just tuition.
By S'hamptonNative (84), Southampton on Sep 20, 14 1:44 PM
OLH is indeed a great school. But remember that it's subsidized by the Catholic Church. It's teachers aren't required to hold masters degrees (state law, not school law). The students are all from families that are involved in their education. Their transportation, school nurses and books are paid for by the local school district that each child is from (including busing to schools as far away as Riverhead). They don't have ESL, Special Ed, There's no free lunch, or free breakfast. They don't ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 15, 14 7:43 PM
Lamm you hit the nail on the head it is parents involved in their child's education who send their children to OLH. So how will this merger make parents more involved?
OLH is only 5k so if this is a better school why don't parents send their kids there? I think when you have kids you have to sacrifice things to give them the best. I'm not saying private school is right for everyone, but if your kid can't excel because of school politics it might be time to look at other options.
As ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 16, 14 8:11 AM
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Nothing will facilitate parental involvement, unfortunately. I believe this to be the root problem of education today. There are rarely consequences for kids anymore and so many lack respect for adults or authority. BUT, Southampton High School offers accelerated classes for kids from families that do take school seriously, and it is possible to excel there, as much as in a Catholic high school. The kids and families have to want it. What I don't understand is why people who are so obviously ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 16, 14 11:12 PM
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Not only are a lot of taxpayers in SH middle class and can't afford an increase..many are on fixed incomes who can least afford the increase!! So many have left the area already, do we really want to push the remaining families out?? Think about it!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 16, 14 10:19 AM
2 members liked this comment
I've thought about it. There are also people on fixed incomes in Hampton Bays, Tuckahoe, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Springs, Westhampton, East Quogue, Riverhead, and their school taxes are ALL significantly higher than Southampton SD taxes - and will be post-merger, even after 10 years.

So, to be fair, Southampton, as a community, can afford the increase.
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Sep 16, 14 4:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
That's bull, "Southampton, as a community, can afford the increase". Many can't and WHY SHOULD WE???
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 18, 14 8:42 AM
So lets run Southampton even worse, we need to catch up to those other poorly run districts.
You left out Remsenberg/Speonk, Quogue, Wainscott, and Sagaponack. Prop taxes are half Southampton, they get good results(while drawing from both sides of the tracks) and pay tuition to other districts for HS. Maybe we should de-centralize back to small neighborhood schools, there doesn't seem to be much economy of scale in public education. Certainly wont need too many $120K a year librarians anymore.
By smacw (240), New York on Sep 22, 14 8:14 PM
A meeting with a handful of attendees is one thing, what really matters is the number of votes against this scam! The majority of Southampton district residents will not vote themselves a tax increase.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 16, 14 12:12 PM
2 members liked this comment
A former Southampton School Board member told me today, that when he was on the BOE in the late seventies-early eighties, a merger idea was presented to Tuckahoe by Southampton and the Tuckahoe residents were vehemently against it. Not just then, they said, but FOREVER! So what has changed?
By Hamptons Seashell (34), Southampton on Sep 16, 14 2:45 PM
what changed since the 70s? ..just everything
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 16, 14 4:23 PM
What changed is that the Tuckahoe School District spent itself into near
bankruptcy and now Southampton is supposed to pay for their District forever.
Who's greedy now?
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Sep 16, 14 4:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
By Hamptons Seashell (34), Southampton on Sep 16, 14 9:30 PM
The bottom line is the governor put a 2% tax cap on school taxes and the Tuckahoe district needs a bail out. The snobs at Tuckahoe for decades refused to merge because they didn't want to jeopardize their private school enviroment.
Were not all rich in Southampton, some of us barely survive. I can't pay other peoples bills so stop asking, and please stop the" do it for the kids"
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 16, 14 9:48 PM
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Stop the 'do it for the kids'? Really? THAT is what school districts are about! If we weren't doing it for the kids, we wouldn't pay ANY school taxes, Chief! Sorry that people didn't merge in the 70's. Can't control that now. Sorry about the country's economy changing, so that small school districts are no longer sustainable. Can't control that either. We are just trying to deal with CURRENT REALITY, and make the most common sense for ALL of our kids in this community.

These kids ...more
By Shinnecock Hills family (59), Southampton on Sep 16, 14 10:56 PM
Besides, there was some grumbling then, but I don't think it ever went up for a vote in the 70's. Remember, most of the time it's the dissenters that make a lot of noise, and it makes the appearance that it's what everyone wants. Like the proposed King Kullen...lots of dissenters at meetings, but I'll bet that if it went up for a real vote it would easily pass, because it will make peoples lives easier! I have the feeling that the merger vote will pass also, for the most part, I think most residents ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 16, 14 11:20 PM
This isn't about the kids this is about lowering your taxes, and raising ours. You can try to scam the taxpayer a hundred differant ways but to say this will help students with no proof is ridiculous. I personally have been a victim of redistribution of wealth with my medical insurance. I was told by this idiot president my insurance would down and I can keep my coverage. Well my coverage costs more than doubled, and I had to change insurance providers. Not falling for the only 300 dollar a year ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 17, 14 7:04 AM
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$300, a DECADE from now. Lower taxes for the next 3 years, then annual increases, which according to the current plan doesn't net a positive increase until Year six. No one is scamming anyone with regard to the annexation, it's way past time that something sensible like this occurs.

With regard to your health insurance, I'm astonished you were not more annoyed by your previous insurance carrier jacking their rates to skim a little more from you and then pass the blame onto Obamacare... ...more
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Sep 17, 14 2:15 PM
The first vote was approved and scheduled for mid November, so time will tell. Sorry about the Obamacare issue. I agree with you on that point, I can't afford insurance at all.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 17, 14 7:16 AM
...I really can't believe it took this long to bring Obama into this discussion.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Sep 17, 14 7:33 AM
It is a scam and you are a fool to believe it. Where are the true numbers with inflation? Tuckahoe had spending increases of 5% to 10% for years and I'm suppose to believe modest increase? At 35k a student how can we possibly say we need to spend more maybe we need longer school days, and accountability for teachers not tenure. The status quo is not worki g and that is what needs to be examined
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 17, 14 5:42 PM
So now the school board, in this crazy economy, is supposed to predict the inflation rate for the next 10 years? That and your scam and redistribution of wealth theories are getting silly. It's really not that complicated. Sometimes taxes go up, yours will still be lower than about every district on Long Island, no matter how you look at it. In the scheme of education, it's a merger of two small school districts within a close knit community, nothing more. It's just the right thing to do.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 17, 14 11:16 PM
Yes, "Cheif1" you can believe in a modest increase because state law mandates it. Since the Tax Cap was made law in 2011 the last three annual budget increases for both Southampton and Tuckahoe have averaged 2.05 and 2.15 percent respectively.

Sean Hattrick
By seanhattrick (2), southampton on Sep 18, 14 8:52 AM
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That's right and Tuckahoe can't survive on 2 % so they need the suckers of Southampton for a bailout. They had one straw vote and it was a laugher now they want another. Stop the brainwashing of people and understand nobody votes for higher taxes.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 18, 14 6:44 PM
What close knit community????? Stop with the lies!
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Sep 20, 14 5:56 AM
If you don't think this is a close knit community perhaps it's your choice to live on the outside of it.
You're also wrong about when the Tuckahoe and Southampton kids meet. Many kids in Southampton and Tuckahoe are friends way before high school, mostly starts around 4 or 5 years old, in t-ball, sometimes religion, library activities, soccer, SYS, etc. Kids from Southampton and Tuckahoe share a lot. They have few if any friends from Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton or Hampton Bays (except HB kids ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 20, 14 2:45 PM
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except in a couple years we can pierce the tax cap
By Apri1 (8), Southampton on Sep 22, 14 1:20 PM
As always, these school boards are playing games while children and families suffer. Tuckahoe and SH districts are total cr-p
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Sep 17, 14 6:20 PM
Lamm you sound like the president. You want special treatment at the expense of someone else.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 20, 14 10:19 PM
Chief, there is nothing special about wanting a public education in the neighborhood where I live. Your comment is out of line.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 12:17 AM
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Sounds like you live in Tuckahoe, you have a neighborhood school. Whats wrong with it?
By smacw (240), New York on Sep 23, 14 8:59 AM
Saying people who are against the merger are against children, is just plain wrong! We are still in a recession ,and times are still difficult for the middle class.The time of the last vote,she condemned people who voted against it. She used her father's last name. How many people knew her mother is the President of the Tuckahoe School Board. So much deception. Why was Scott Farina given the position of Superintendent when East Hampton got rid of him?? I never heard of s Superintendents search ...more
By bayview (160), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 10:27 AM
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Tuckahoe does not have 15 kids in their Kindergarten classes, there are over 20, and if there is a single special ed kid that requires it, the class gets an additional teacher. The Superintendent came in from Pennsylvania, not the south, and lives in Southampton. He only moved here for this job, would you buy a house in a district on the brink? There was an application and interview process for Farina's job. Mr. Dyer was not a personal friend of Bob Grisnik, do you think all military people ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 6:42 PM
Does he live in the house that the District bought to house their leadership? As if they are not paid enough to provide for themselves. That, my dear, is part of the problem with Tuckahoe. Very bad judgment & fiscal mismanagement. Blaming your neighbors for your difficulties is absurd.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 7:27 PM
No, he doesn't live in the house that the district purchased, he provides for himself. I am not blaming Southampton. The issue is that it's very expensive to run such a small district, with the tax cap in place we can no longer afford to send them to high school because the tuition is so high. A child should be able to go to school in their own community.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 7:51 PM
The letter of condemnation was written by a Southampton High School student and published in the Southampton Press.
By bayview (160), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 10:29 AM
Bayview you just touched the surface of the incestuous hiring by both districts. Southampton continues to hire x graduates over more experienced applicants or people who are relatives of the staff.
I'm outraged how kids are being brainwashed on this subject. Students don't have budgets or pay bills so they know little about intergration. Students should ask why they aren't being properly prepared for college. Students should ask how come they can't learn common core. Tuckahoe needs to get ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 21, 14 11:35 AM
Here's the othe side of the merger. If you have a million dollar house in Tuckahoe your taxes are approx $ 7200, and if the merger goes through they will be approx $ 2, 700. Can people open there eyes and see this is all a out taxes nothing else. Not to mention the whole financial report I'd non existent.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 21, 14 11:48 AM
Chief, you're correct, many local people, including Shinnecocks, are hired by local districts, but do you have examples of more qualified teachers being passed over for less qualified locals? Is there an issue with hiring locally? How can you say that students can't learn common core when this is the first year it's fully implemented? Must be that crystal ball. Tuckahoe isn't going to "get a grip on expenses", they're facing a state takeover when the well runs dry. Do you really think that ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 6:53 PM
Of course candidates from out of town take one look at what it costs to live here that their kids will have to attend worse schools than where they came from, game over. Hire the locals living in their parent basements with a bogus M.Ed. hanging on the wall and cross your fingers.
By smacw (240), New York on Sep 22, 14 8:42 PM
He will not respond. Chief likes to make those claims about every school district and municipality, and can never back up what he says.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 14 9:11 PM
I stand by my statement.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 7:29 PM
Which statement? That the supervisor lives in a home provided by the district and that he doesn't provide for himself? If that's the one you're standing by, you are incorrect, as noted under your comment above. Whatever side you choose, please stick to the facts.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 7:53 PM
And as for the "bullying", only those trying to prevent the vote are bullying. Two boards, duly elected, made a decision. Deal with it.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 21, 14 7:54 PM
Will a defeat of this scam at the polls be the end of it? Or will the deck be stacked like the budget vote where a defeat garners another shot
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 22, 14 7:49 AM
You know the answer bigfresh. They are already doing another straw vote. This will be a straw vote in a straw vote, because a handful of people showed up. This will not mail people info or give facts this will be a low profile vote. If it wasn't for this paprr I wouldn't even know myself. Dont you believe when you taxes will go up you should be informed?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 22, 14 9:27 AM
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By low profile do you mean the Southampton School District will do a single mass mailing again to inform the voters? Perhaps the district can do a mailing that is more then on a thin single piece of paper that could be easily passed up for junk mail.
By Apri1 (8), Southampton on Sep 22, 14 1:31 PM
The best part of the merger is that Tuckahoe will stay open with business as usual. The great part for Tuckahoe is yhe tax burden will squarely be on Southampton

By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 22, 14 6:31 PM
Chief, do you know ANY of the facts? Tuckahoe will cease to exist. Southampton will decide what happens to the building. It will be ANYTHING BUT business as usual.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 22, 14 10:03 PM
what a waste of a new sidewalk !
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 23, 14 2:59 PM
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Did any one ever consider, that the Tuckahoe school, will be used for the children of both districts who attend the Westhampton BOCES???? I am sure they will consider all the money they will save if this merger happens. After all this IS about the money not the children!
By bayview (160), Southampton on Sep 24, 14 11:17 AM
Agree with Chief. Not lot of transparency in the numbers, no talk of eliminating staff redundancies, no talk of disposing of any real estate. Sweetheart deal for teachers and a bailout for Tuckahoe Admins.
Put a fiscally responsible deal in front of the voters and they will approve it, and be one big community, well except for the Catholic school kids, Hayground kids, Hampton Day, etc.
By smacw (240), New York on Sep 22, 14 7:38 PM
What about Bridgehampton School district? High tax base, low enrollment, nursing that old building along to keep the gravy train going. How about a simultaneous Tuckahoe, Southampton, Bridgehampton merger to help smooth out the finances. One big community after all, Southampton School district already includes large parts of BH, all the way to about Halsey Ln/Butter Ln. That's a lot of 537/11932 inside Southampton district. and I think we all know why that masterful bit of gerrymandering was done ...more
By smacw (240), New York on Sep 22, 14 7:55 PM
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I agree with you on including BH in the merger. Let's take that one step further. There are 17 separate school districts on the east end. It's a crazy waste of taxpayer money, and many of them should be merged. In alphabetical order, amagansett, bridgehampton, east hampton, east quogue, fishers island, hampton bays, montauk, quogue, remsenburg-speonk, sagaponak, sag harbor, shelter island, southampton, springs, tuckahoe, wainscott, westhampton beach. With the exception of the two island districts, ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 22, 14 9:59 PM
Novel idea, but as should be clear by now, there is no economy of scale in public education, Big centralized districts and facilities consume more tax $ per student then the small ones. I think TH/SH/BH could make some sense and benefit the students. SH could absorb the (balance of) BH students and not even notice while gaining considerable tax base (which would promptly be spent somehow) and a windfall from selling the building. Tuckahoe building is unlikely to be sold as the capacity is probably ...more
By smacw (240), New York on Sep 23, 14 9:32 AM
Most of the jobs slated to be cut were at the top, there is no job guarantee there. As far as teacher tenure, the newer teachers would be the first to go, and tenure doesn't prohibit layoffs anyway.
My taxes will supposedly go down about $2000 per year over the course of 10 years. In comparison to the rest of long island, even Tuckahoe has low taxes, it's not big money in the scheme of things, neither is your increase. If it were up to me, I would request that we keep taxes in Tuckahoe as ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 23, 14 12:24 PM
tax raise of 500 on one side of town to lower taxes 2500 on the other ? if that's the case then that tax cut has to happen.

I am in Tuckahoe - no kids. its hard to say what my house is 'worth' because my bank told me 425K and my refi got DK'd (my refi did not go thru). when I submitted the low appraisal to town for assessment relief..they told me their 825K assessment was correct and NO TAX RELIEF!! I lost coming AND going !! so my taxes are 5500. id LOVE to save a huge chunk of that $4000 ...more
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 23, 14 3:23 PM
And you accepted the word of a clerk at the Assessors office?
There is a process to grieve the assessment. I believe it is May of each year. You bring a copy of that appraisal, and find out what similar pieces are valued at in the area, and go from there.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 14 3:35 PM
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Lamm is it fair to remain giving Tuckahoe an open check book after the merger? What are Tuckahoes plans to cut costs? NONE!! If nothing changes this becomes a bailout nothing else. By the way if this doesn't go through I found out NY State will not merge this school with Southampton. The state will force Tuckahoe to start an austerity program which means teachers will be slashed, programs slashed, and the district will be a skeleton of what it once was. It is illegal to make Southampton absorb ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 23, 14 5:14 PM
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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 23, 14 5:52 PM
Please by all means post the cuts here.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 23, 14 7:28 PM
David, Tuckahoe does inquire, they have an investigator that follows people suspected of not living in district. I think its more rumor that the kids don't live in district. The problem is that the town doesn't close the converted motels on north road and the homes that have 10 kids each. Tuckahoe notifies the town, that's all they can do, the school pressures but can't enforce. If they find that a kid lives out of district they are gone. I've seen it happen more than once.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 23, 14 10:37 PM
Chief, you know so little about both Tuckahoe and Southampton. When the end all is the dollar, and you are willing to post a non stop stream of nonsense to protect that dollar, it's no longer worth my time.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 23, 14 10:42 PM
Seriously can anyone here name the big cuts that Tuckahoe has made? Better yet what cuts will be made if there is a merger.? How can anyone vote intelligently if there are so little facts? When Dr Farina and his cronies ride off into the sunset someday the t axpayers of Southampton will be stuck with a huge tax bill. If you are a homeowner in the Southampton District , and barely making it this should force you to sell your home, move. This is called a redistribution of wealth!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 24, 14 7:47 AM
thank you very much!! that North road 'Hotel' indeed! I heard tuckahoe was sending 2 buses there to pick the children up. I SAW IT ALSO!! TWO BUses! that's how they addressed? wow that's dangerous. and kids hiding in the buses every afternoon, alone; waiting to be picked up.
sketchy indeed.
yes we had one of those danger houses near us. very unfair for children to have to exist in such crowded conditions with late night parties and the gamut of random visitors lurking all night laying low ...more
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 24, 14 8:24 AM
David, Tuckahoe changed their policies last year, requiring more documentation, leases, etc. I also understand that the investigator spends a lot of time trying to verify that the kids actually live in those hotels. I don't know how the owners of those places get away with it, and I know one was closed down last year, but there are still more than one remaining. I think Harald Steudte is leading the drive to verify residency, he ran on that platform and I know the school has been doing more.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 24, 14 6:16 PM
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I get a kick out of the witty banter back and forth, the current Southampton High School was built for 1,200 students when ALL Tuckahoe students went to Southampton. I was in the first class that went all the way through. The school was a ghost town when all the Tuckahoe kids went to WHB.
By Lester Ware (15), Sag Harbor on Sep 24, 14 10:15 AM
Tuckahoe only gives Southampton 3 million a year for students which is 2% of Southamptons budget. Even if Tuckahoe sends their kids to Westhampton for half the cost ( which isn't happening) the problem of spending will remain. This is not about kids this about Tuckahoe not firing any faculty or cutting benefits.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 24, 14 12:29 PM
Tuckahoe cut 20% of their teaching staff in the last 3 years, you would be aware of that if you attended meetings.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 24, 14 5:48 PM
if the vote goes through and SH takes in TSD won't SH get the benefits of the buildings now in use at TSD? and if so there is a perfect venue for a pre K and kingergarten and maybe first grades to utilize. this will free up usage at SH and will provide a needed benefit for the children and/or give much needed administrative space to SH think the SH district should come together to help the TSD kids since they are all neighbors and the only albatross is rthe different school districts. TSD has ...more
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Sep 24, 14 7:27 PM
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SHSD Board was NEVER transparent about the merger last year or its effects on SH taxpayers, their employer. The only win-win was for Tuckahoe taxpayers who spent themselves into a cavernous hole that they're asking SH to pull them out of with our hard earned money. The scam passed in Albany uses our previously paid taxes, slated for a hugely expensive Administrative Building (Can you imagine??? More waste!) to pay our portion of the tax increase for 10 years. Albany representatives should be ...more
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Sep 25, 14 11:20 AM
Both the Southampton school, and the Tuckahoe school are for the most part below state test scoring averages. I'm all for a merger if it saves money, and improves education. The report written by the district is amateurish, and really doesn't explain how it does either. It just keeps the machine rolling of constantly paying with dismal results.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 25, 14 11:42 AM
Straw Vote: "An unofficial vote taken to obtain an indication of the general trend of opinion on a particular issue." To further clarify what Dodger says above.
A straw vote is needed to see if there is enough interest to pursue a binding vote. It's difficult for a school board to gauge interest based upon a handful of people who post against it on 27east, or the small numbers who attend meetings who have been overwhelmingly in support of a merger. There are some new details and incentives ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 26, 14 8:59 AM