Two Vie For Montauk School Board Seat

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Two are going head-to-head to fill one, five-year position on the Montauk School Board this year.

Carmine Marino is hoping to change up the board and take the seat from Diane Hausman, who has been a member of the board for 20 years and president of the board for the past three years.

“People want a change,” Mr. Marino said this week. “I’m looking to add better communication and transparency. I really want to see more people be listened to. I think that’s what has been lost.”

Mr. Marino, who lives with wife Joyce, a teacher’s assistant at the school, is a retired assistant civil engineer who worked at the Suffolk County Department of Public Works for 20 years. He serves as vice president of the Montauk Library Board of Trustees, the vice president of the Montauk Fire Commissioners board and is a member of the Montauk Lions Club and is a lector at St. Therese of Lisieux Church.

“I have a good eye as far as the physical plant goes—how everything is run,” he said in his engineer lingo. “I’ve been involved with budgeting at the firehouse and the library. Having a municipal background, I know how the world of a public entity works. I think I would bring a different perspective on what’s going on.”

Mr. Marino said he’d like to take a look at see how the district’s money is spent and reevaluate the district’s priorities.

“Diane is a very nice person, but I just feel like 20 years is a long time,” he said. “It’s time for some change on the board.”

Diane Hausman, however, said she brings a wealth of knowledge to the table as someone who has been involved with the school for decades.

“I love this job,” she said. “It is a very challenging and time-consuming one, but I am always up for the challenge. I don’t think that everyone really realizes how much time and commitment is required.”

During her tenure on the board, Ms. Hausman has played a part in starting a full-day prekindergarten program, bringing in Spanish instruction to the elementary level, improving access to technology each year, planning for the addition to the school facility in 2000 and passing the budget successfully for 20 years. If she wins, she would be serving her fifth term.

“I am extremely proud of our students—we strive each and every year to ensure that they are successful learners and that they are given as many of the necessary tools as possible to accomplish that goal,” she said. “The difficulty is sustaining the programs that are already in place yet being able to balance that with our fiduciary responsibility to the entire community and not overburdening the taxpayer.”

Ms. Hausman added that she supports shared services to help the district meet its goal of staying under the state mandated tax levy cap as well. In addition, she said contracts always weigh heavily on her mind because they impact the budget process.

“Rising health insurance premiums and retirement system contributions are a major concern,” she said. “I think my business experience serves me very well and has prepared me with the necessary skills for making business decisions that are required all of the time. Taking the ‘personal’ out of the decisions we need to make is sometimes extremely difficult living in such a small community, but is very often a necessary part of our process.”

Ms. Hausman, is a partner of the Sands Motel and her son, Jason Martell, attended St. Therese, the Montauk School and East Hampton High School.

During her son’s time at Montauk School, Ms. Hausman served on the school’s Parent Teacher Association, and she has also served on the board of directors for the Montauk Chamber of Commerce for 15 years—11 years as an executive member and five years as president—and was a founding member of the Montauk Playhouse Community Center since it began in 1999. At the school, she served as a member of the board’s site-based team as well.

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