Rogers Memorial Library Budget Proposal Comes In Under Tax Levy Cap

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The Rogers Memorial Library has proposed a $4.3 million spending plan for next year that maintains programs at the Windmill Lane library and stays under the New York State-mandated tax levy cap.

The budget represents an increase of approximately $94,000, or 2.2 percent, over the current year’s $4.2 million plan. Under the proposed budget—which goes to taxpayers for a vote on August 9—the tax levy would rise $82,731 from $4.16 million this year to $4.24 million next year.

According to Elizabeth Burns, the library’s executive director, the proposal represents a conscientious effort to remain under the tax cap. She added that the proposed budget puts an emphasis on programs, which have been a growing part of the library for years.

The tax rate for the library is expected to increase 1.2 percent, from 18.16 to 18.38 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

“The board was determined to stay under the tax cap, so we had very little room to work with,” Ms. Burns said this week. “We did the best that we could to maintain operations that the community uses, deserves and expects from us. We were really proud to be able to stay under the tax cap.”

Also at the library, four people are running for three open seats on the nine-member board. On August 3, the library will host a meet-the-candidates forum from 2 to 3 p.m.

Each candidate is seeking one four-year term on the board, where two seats will be left vacant by Bill Murphy and Richard Warren, who are not seeking reelection.

One seat is designated for a candidate from the Tuckahoe area. The Tuckahoe candidate this year is Robert Gerbereux, who has been a resident of the Tuckahoe district for 45 years. Mr. Gerbereux was the director of the library for Southampton College of Long Island University for 30 years.

Three remaining candidates, including one incumbent, will go head-to-head for the remaining two seats.

Susan Johns is a sitting member of the board. She was appointed to the position on March 18 to fill a vacancy when Peter Cheney moved out of state. Ms. Johns is a retired elementary school teacher from Westchester. She had also served as the library/media specialist for 17 years at the Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Yorktown Heights.

Sean Deneny is a graduate of Fordham University and is seeking his first term on the board. Mr. Deneny, a former Southampton School Board member, is the founder of Timeless International, a television distribution firm, as well as vice president and general sales manager for Viacom and vice president and group sales manager at Storer Communications. He holds marketing positions at Xerox and Kodak.

Patricia Finocchiaro is also seeking her first term on the board. She is a real estate broker and works in retail at Chicos and FAS in the Southampton Village. Past president of the Lioness Club, Ms. Finocchiaro has also served on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for 12 years.

The budget and trustee board vote will be held on Friday, August 9, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the library. Eligible voters must be at least 18 years old and must have been residents of either the Southampton or Tuckahoe school district for at least 30 days.

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