UPDATE: Bridgehampton Budget Defeated By Voters On Tuesday; Other South Fork Budgets Approved

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UPDATE: 10 p.m.

Taxpayers in East Quogue approved their school district’s $22.8 million budget, 642-175, on Tuesday. The plan increases overall spending by about $400,000, or nearly 2 percent, and is expected to bump up the tax rate by 1.4 percent, from $11.35 to $11.51 per $1,000 of assessed value.

They also approved Proposition 2, 681-136, authorizing the district to sign a one-year, $613,201 contract with the Suffolk County Cooperative Library System. District residents will be allowed to visit the Quogue, Westhampton or Hampton Bays libraries.

Additionally, incumbent Board of Education member Patricia Tuzzolo earned her third term on the board, receiving 619 votes. First-time candidate Cynthia McNamara earned 588 votes and will also join the five-member board on July 1. Both were in uncontested races.

The Amagansett School District’s $10.4 million budget passed, 107-30. Patrick R. Bistrian received 118 votes; Phelan Wolf received 112 votes; and Patrick Bistrian III received 112 votes. The three incumbents ran unopposed for the three open seats on the board.

Taxpayers in the Riverhead School District approved their district’s $121.2 million spending plan for 2014-15, 1704-933, on Tuesday. The budget increases overall spending by $3.6 million, or 3.1 percent.

In the five-person race for three open board seats, incumbents Gregory Meyer and Kimberly Ligon won reelection, and they will be joined by former board member Lori Hulse, who was the top vote-getter on Tuesday. Ms. Hulse, who served on the board from 2000 until 2006, finished with 1,782 votes. Ms. Ligon earned 1,626 votes and Mr. Meyer finished with 1,356 votes to earn the third open seat. First-time candidates Gregory Fischer and Laurie Downs did not make the cut.

Taxpayers also approved Proposition 2,1588-973 , which allows the district to float a nearly $4 million bond to cover the purchase of approximately 40 new buses over the next five years. They also signed off on Proposition 3 that permits the district to grant an easement allowing Long Island Head Start to tap into an existing water pipe that runs near the Phillips Avenue Elementary School in Riverside. That measure passed 1700-823 .

UPDATE: 9:50 p.m.

Eastport South Manor Board of Education incumbents Donna Moeller and Patricia Harran cruised to victory in their respective reelection bids on Tuesday, fending off challenger Stevenson Petit. Ms. Moeller received 688 votes to earn her second three-year term while Ms. Harran finished with 723 votes to earn her first full term. Mr. Petit, who collected 412 votes, has made unsuccessful runs for the board each of the last three years.

Taxpayers also overwhelmingly approved the district’s $92.6 million 2014-15 budget, which increases overall spending by $1.4 million, or 1.5 percent, next year. The spending plan, which was approved 810-291, is expected to bump up the district’s tax rate by 1.9 percent for taxpayers in both Southampton and Brookhaven towns.

Voters also approved Proposition 2, 924-169, allowing residents of the district to enjoy full library services through the Suffolk Cooperative Library System at a cost of $2.5 million for the 2014-15 school year. Taxpayers will have access to libraries in Westhampton, Riverhead, Center Moriches and Shirley.

Sag Harbor residents passed the district’s proposed $36.9 million budget Tuesday night, 578-222.

The 2014-15 budget is a $1.3 million increase from this year’s and paired with a $32.7 million tax levy, an increase of 1.48 percent.

The district Board of Education election also took place Tuesday night. Current President Theresa Samot was re-elected with 587 votes, and member Sandi Kreul was voted in for another three-year term with 526 votes. Newly-elected member Diana Kolhoff received 503 votes. Their terms will begin July 1.

UPDATE: 9:45 p.m.

Long-time Westhampton Beach Board of Education member Jim Hulme won reelection for the fourth time Tuesday night, besting his opponent, retiring history teacher Stephen Wisnoski, 307-256. Meanwhile, the district’s $54.7 million budget passed by a vote 460-125, and similarly, proposition two in Westhampton Beach, the Westhampton Free Library’s $2.1 million budget, passed with 439 yes votes compared to 144 no votes.

The Hampton Bays School District’s $48.2 million budget passed, 807-227, while Dorothy “Dot” Capuano was elected to her second term on the Board of Education with 910 votes. Superintendent Lars Clemensen said the write-in votes had not been tabulated Tuesday night, but Ms. Capuano won handily.

UPDATE: 9:35 p.m.

Springs voters passed the Springs School budget of $26.7 million, 285-171.

They also approved the school’s proposition to create a five-year $10 million capital reserve fund, known as the “2014 Additions, Renovations and Upgrades Capital Reserve,” which would fund capital improvements to the Springs School, 284-165.

Springs School Board President Liz Mendelman and Board Member Tim Frazier were reelected: Ms. Mendelman receiving 371 votes, and Mr. Frazier with 383 votes.

There were 18 absentee ballots and six write-in candidates, which included: Bob Kolb, Ron Balcuns, Phyllis Mallah, David Buda, “1A” and a scribble.

The board members were happy with the result.

“I’m pleased that our voters passed the budget and proposition,” Ms. Mendelman said. “It says they are willing to invest in our school and our future.”

“I think it is a great acknowledgment of what Springs School is doing … making sure we give the best education to the students in our community,” Mr. Frazier said.

UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.

The Southampton School District’s $62.2 million budget was handily approved, 383-167 opposed. Board of Education President Heather Mc-Callion will retain her seat on the seven-member board for another five-year term.

The budget represents a $350,750 spending increase. The tax levy will increase 1.03 percent from $50.2 million to $50.7 million.

UPDATE: 9:25 p.m.

In Remsenburg-Speonk, taxpayers approved their school district’s $13 million budget by a more than three-to-one margin, 184-56. The budget, which increases overall spending by about $200,000, is also expected to bump up the tax rate by 2.2 percent next year, from $5.48 per $1,000 to $5.60 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Proposition 2, approved 226-14, authorizes the district to continue sending its middle and high school students to either the Westhampton Beach or Eastport South Manor school districts for the 2014-15 school year.

Approved 206-34, Proposition 3 permits the district to sign a one-year $257,933 contract with the Suffolk County Cooperative Library System, allowing residents access to the Westhampton Free Library.

Incumbent Board of Education member Deirdre DeVita received 225 votes in her uncontested bid for reelection. She will start her second term on July 1.

UPDATE: 8:50 p.m.

The Bridgehampton School District’s proposed $12.3 million budget for the 2014-15 school year did not receive the supermajority of voter approval Tuesday night, receiving only 54.25 percent of votes, 134-113.

Because the district would be piercing the state cap with this budget, it needed 60 percent of the vote to pass.

The district had proposed to pierce the $9.8 million tax levy by proposing a levy of $10.6 million. The planned budget was a $1.1 million increase from this year’s.

Proposition 2, which consisted of allotting $160,000 for a contract with the Bridgehampton Childcare and Recreation Center, was approved by voters 157-89.

District Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre said the Board of Education will go back to the drawing board to write up another budget. “The BOE will meet and we’ll make a decision to bring it out to the voters,” she said Tuesday night.

Board Vice President Lillian Tyree-Johnson said she was disappointed with the outcome of the vote, but confident another budget will pass the second time around.

“Im encouraged because I think if we bring it back a second time … we’re going to get the people out that didn’t come for it” Tuesday night, she said. “In the end, it’s all about the kids.”

The Board of Education election vote to fill two vacant seats was also announced Tuesday night. Jeffrey Mansfield was voted in with 187 votes, as well as Kathleen McCleland with 172 votes.

Ms. McCleland said she will have a lot to learn before she sets any goals for the upcoming school year, but she does know that she wants to focus on encouraging the community to be more involved with the school district. “I’m excited,” she said. “There’s a learning curve. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel.”

UPDATE: 8:45 p.m.

The East Hampton School District’s $65.1 million budget was approved 492-184, a 73 percent margin. The budget represents a 2.43-percent increase in the tax levy, piercing the New York State tax levy cap of 1.46 percent. The district needed at least 60 percent.

Incumbent board member Jackie Lowey, who ran uncontested, received 535 votes. Incumbent board President Patricia Hope, who also ran uncontested, received 531 votes.

“I’d just say I’m happy and proud of our community but not tremendously surprised,” said Ms. Hope.

“We just want to thank the community, we couldn’t have done it without them, they made it loud and clear what they wanted,”said Liz Pucci, vice president of the board.

“This is a community that puts education and its kids first, it makes us all proud to live here and be part of it,” said board member Jackie Lowey.

UPDATE: 8:35 p.m.

In the Sagaponack School District, the $1.8 million budget was unanimously approved, with 23 votes cast. Brian Vilante, who was running unopposed for a thee-year term, received 23 votes.

The $18.8 million budget for the Tuckahoe Common School District was approved, 199-67. At the same time, longtime board member Robert Grisnik retained his seat on the three member board with 158 votes.

Quogue School District taxpayers overwhelmingly approved the district’s $7.7 million budget, 83-3, on Tuesday. The adopted plan decreases spending by about $87,000. The tax rate is projected to slip as well, from $2.04 per $1,000 to $1.95 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Voters also approved two additional propositions. Proposition 2, which passed 86-0, permits the elementary school to continue sending its students in grades seven through 12 to the Westhampton Beach School District for the 2014-15 school year. Proposition 3, approved 82-4, authorizes the district to collect $558,430 from taxpayers to fund the Quogue Library budget.

Board of Education member Larry Berman, who faced no challenge this year, received 77 votes and will begin his third term on July 1.

UPDATE: 8:30 p.m.

Montauk voters passed the Montauk School District’s $18.6 million budget, 186-22, as well as its proposition to transfer $400,000 from its unreserved fund balance from the 2013-14 school year to the capital fund to pay for repairs, reconstruction and upgrades to the school’s buildings, facilities and grounds, 189-24.

Jason Biondo was selected as the next school board member and won with 132 votes against Cynthia Ibrahim, with 78 votes. The position is a five-year term, replacing Board Member Lisa Ward, who served two five-year terms.

There were five absentee ballots and two write in candidates:Nick Finazzo with two votes, and one vote for Alice Houseknecht.

Montauk School Superintendent Jack Perna said he was pleased with the results.

“Montauk has supported the school board for 20 years now,” he said. “I’m very happy.”

The Wainscott District’s $3.1 million spending plan was passed unanimously, 39-0, and David Eagan was reelected to serve on the School Board with 33 votes. He was unchallenged, but there were two write-in votes for Jeff Yusko.

Original Story:

Polls across the East End open Tuesday morning for the annual school district budget and board of education votes.

The polls will remain open throughout the day, and registered taxpayers are encouraged to cast a vote at the local polling place. Of the East End districts, only two—East Hampton and Bridgehampton—are attempting to pierce the New York State tax levy cap, requiring a 60 percent supermajority of voters to approve the spending plan.

In Bridgehampton, the School Board approved a $12.3 million spending plan for 2014-15, an increase of $1.1 million, or 9.93 percent, over the current year’s $11.2 million budget. The district is proposing a $10.6 million tax levy, an increase of 8.8 percent, or $855,819, over the current year’s $9.8 million levy.

Three Bridgehampton residents will compete for two vacant seats on the Bridgehampton School Board later this month. The two open seats are being vacated by incumbents Elizabeth Kotz and Gabriela Braia. The candidates, Michael Gomberg, Jeffrey Mansfield and Kathleen McCleland.

Voting will be at the Bridgehampton School from 2 to 8 p.m.

In East Hampton, the board approved a $65.1 million spending plan, an increae of $837,247 over the current year’s budget. This represents a 2.43-percent increase in tax levy from $46.4 million to $47.5 million.

Two school board members are running unopposed. Patricia Hope and Jackie Lowey are both seeking their second, three-year term in office.

Voting will take place at the East Hampton High School from 1 to 8 p.m.

Several districts on the East End, although they are not piercing the cap, do have contested Board of Education races.

In Sag Harbor, there are four candidates running for three open seats on the Board of Education—Diana Kolhoff, Sandi Kruel, Thomas Ré, and Theresa Samot.

In total, the district is putting forward a $36.9 million budget, an increase of $1.3 million. The $32.7 million tax levy is an increase of 1.48 percent.

The budget vote and school board elections will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the gymnasium at Pierson Middle/High School.

The Montauk Schol District is proposing an $18.6 million budget, an increase of $85,645 for next year. The proposed tax levy is $16.8 million, an increase of 0.43 percent.

Jason Biondo and Cynthia Ibrahim are seeking one open seat, a five-year term, on the Montauk School Board next week. Board member Lisa Ward, who has served two five-year terms, has decided not to run again.

Voters can head to the polls between 2 to 8 p.m. in the Montauk School gym.

West of the canal, Westhampton Beach has two people running for one seat.

Jim Hulme, a local attorney and a 20-year veteran of the board, is seeking his fifth five-year term. But he will first have to fend off a challenge from Stephen Wisnoski, a retiring, tenured history teacher who has taught at Westhampton Beach High School for the past three plus decades. He will officially retire on June 30, a day before his term on the board would officially begin if he defeats Mr. Hulme.

The three-school district is proposing a $54.7 million budget for next year, an increase of $1.2 million. The tax levy will decrease by 0.3 percent next year from $27.28 million to $27.19 million.

Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Westhampton Beach High School, in the large group instruction room that is located behind the district auditorium.

In Eastport South Manor, a $92.6 million budget is being put before the taxpayers, an increase of $1.4 million. If approved, the tax levy will increase from $48.9 million to $50.9 million next year.

Incumbents Donna Moeller and Patricia Harran are both seeking three-year terms while Stevenson Petit, who has already lost two prior bids for the board, is hoping that the third time is the charm for his campaign. He is looking to replace either Ms. Moeller or Ms. Harran on the seven-member board.

Polls will open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and district taxpayers can cast their ballots at the Eastport South Manor Junior-Senior High School, located off Moriches-Middle Island Road in Manorville, until 9 p.m.

The Wainscott District is proposing a $3.1 million spending plan, a decrease of $345,370 for next year. The tax levy is expected to decrease $10.8 percent from $2.7 million to $2.4 million next year. 
Incumbent David Eagan is seeking another three-year term on the Wainscott School Board. He is unchallenged.

Voting will take place at the Wainscott School from 2 to 8 p.m.

In Springs, the district is proposing a $26.7 million budget with an increase of $1.2 million. The tax levy will increase 3.18 percent to 24 million next year.

Incumbent Springs School Board President Liz Mendelman and Board Member Tim Frazier are seeking their second three-year terms. They are unopposed.

The vote will take place from 1 to 9 p.m. in the Springs School Library.

In Amagansett, the district is proposing a $10.5 million budget, an increase of $255,383. The tax levy is not piercing the cap, and will increase 1 percent to $8.8 million.

Patrick R. Bistrian is seeking his fourth term, Phelan Wolf is seeking a second term, and Patrick Bistrian III is hoping to remain on the board after filling a vacant seat in December 2013.

The budget and board of education vote will be held at the Amagansett school gym from 2 to 8 p.m.

Southampton Board of Education President Heather Mc-Callion is running unopposed for her second five-year term on the board.

The $62.2 million Southampton budget represents a $350,750 spending increase. The tax levy will increase 1.03 percent from $50.2 million to $50.7 million.

Voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the intermediate school music room on Leland Lane.

Incumbent President Robert Grisnik is running unopposed to retain his seat on the Tuckahoe Board of Education.

Taxpayers will be asked to approved an $18.8 million spending plan for next year that represents a 1.86-percent increase over the current year’s budget. The $16.9 million tax levy represents a 2.46-percent increase over the current year, but due to exemptions, it does not pierce the state’s cap on tax levy increases.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Magee Street school library.

In Sagaponack, Brian Villante is running unopposed for the seat being vacated by 36-year veteran board member Fred Wilford, who chose not to run again.

The district budget will increase $18,213 to $1.8 million for next year. The tax levy is increasing $49,502 to $1.7 million.

Voting for the proposed budget as well as the candidate will be held at the Sagaponack School from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Hampton Bays School District is proposing a $48.2 million spending plan with a $1.1 million increase. The levy will increase 1.3 percent to $43 million.

Dorothy “Dot” Capuano is running unopposed for a seat on the Hampton Bays Board of Education.

District residents can cast their ballots between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Hampton Bays Middle School on Ponquogue Avenue.

In Remsenburg-Speonk, incumbent Board of Education member Deirdre DeVita, a real estate broker at Brown Harris Stevens of Westhampton Beach, is unchallenged in her bid to return to the board.

District residents can cast their ballots between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. at the Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School on Mill Road in Remsenburg. They can also vote on the board’s proposed $13 million budget for the 2014-15 school year.

For East Quogue, Cynthia McNamara is unopposed for the board to replace current President Mario Cardaci. Incumbent Patricia Tuzzolo is also seeking reelection and is running unopposed.

District taxpayers can head to the East Quogue Elementary School on Central Avenue between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. to cast their ballots. Additionally, they can vote on the board’s proposed $22.8 million budget for the 2014-15 school year.

In Quogue, Larry Berman is running unopposed for his third three-year term on the five-member board.

Voting for Quogue residents goes from 2 until 8 p.m. Voters can also vote to approve the proposed $7.7 million budget.

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