Three candidates will vie for two seats on the Hampton Bays Board of Education, as six-year board member Doug Oakland will not seek reelection. Three-year incumbent Rich Joslin has decided to run again for a three-year term, and will face off against newcomers Adam Ortiz and Kevin Springer.
Mr. Oakland, who served as the president of the board for the past three years, said that he felt it was time to move on. “I felt I put in a good run,” he said.
Voting will be open on May 21 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Middle School gymnasium.
Mr. Joslin, 60, a lifelong resident of Hampton Bays, was first elected to the board in 2010. He retired that same year after teaching in the district for 34 years. He is also a Hampton Bays graduate.
If elected to a second term, Mr. Joslin said he hopes to continue to improve the curriculum to better prepare students for college or a technical career path. He said during his past term, the board was able to pass budgets that preserved programs and jobs while remaining below the state-mandated 2-percent tax levy cap and maintaining a healthy foundation of reserves, and he hopes to continue that success.
“We’ve been very successful working together with the community,” he added. “We respect them for their input.”
Mr. Joslin, who is also a volunteer with the Hampton Bays Fire Department, has three children, Taite, 15, who is in the ninth grade, and Tarrin, 19, and Stefani, 18, who both attend college. His wife, Debbi, teaches second grade at the Hampton Bays Elementary School.
Mr. Springer, 49, also a lifelong resident of the hamlet and a Hampton Bays graduate, said that if elected, he hopes to continue the progress that the current board has made with Superintendent Lars Clemensen. “Whatever benefits the kids is the bottom line,” he explained.
Mr. Springer, who owns Dynamic Legal Services in Hampton Bays, said he is concerned about the implications of the tax cap, and hopes to help the district continue to pass budgets that stay below the cap. He also added that if elected, he would ensure that the improvements and goals of a $16.8 million bond initiative—approved last year to cover the costs of more than 60 maintenance projects, repairs and upgrades throughout the district’s three schools—are carried out and completed.
Mr. Springer has three children, Reese, 9, Kylie, 13, and Michael 16, in each school in the district. He has coached basketball and Little League for at least 20 years, is a member of the Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays and the Citizens Advisory Committee. He also serves as co-vice president of the Hampton Bays Booster Club.
He said he has many friends and family members in the community, and if elected, he looks forward to communicating with them and the public regularly so that he can best represent them.
Mr. Ortiz, who has lived in the district for 15 years, is a first-time candidate for the Board of Education. He works as an economic development coordinator for Stony Brook University, and he said that experience has motivated him to make sure the Hampton Bays community is focused on education.
Mr. Ortiz said he has rarely missed a board meeting since he moved to the district. If he is elected, he said his goal is to support the district’s teachers and administrators. “I respect everything they do on a daily basis,” he said.
He stressed the importance of higher education and added that he would work to improve the educational programming at Hampton Bays, “whether it’s bringing more AP courses for students to take, or collaborating with our community colleges or businesses and putting together breakfast meetings and seminars.”
Mr. Ortiz is also a member of the Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays, and he said he wants to continue to foster a good working relationship between the district and the community, something he said is “essential.” If elected, he said he wants all community members to know they can come to him with questions, and he will answer, or he will work to find the answer. “At the end of the day, I just want to help,” he said.
He and his wife, Naseema, also have a child in each school in the district, Alyssa, 15, Adam, 13, and Aaron, 6.