Glen Cove residents and school officials discussed more than just school news at the latest Board of Education meeting.
The BOE hosted a special meeting with at on Wednesday night.
The forum – which was open to the public and attended by Mayor Ralph Suozzi – gave Marcellino an opportunity to discuss Governor Cuomo's proposed budget and the two percent property tax cap, which passed the New York State Senate on Jan. 31.
After a brief introduction from and , Marcellino addressed the constituents of the proposed budget, an explanation of the cap, as well as Long Island’s current economic situation, which he described as “down to the bone.”
Marcellino said that he used e-mail and Facebook to poll Long Island residents. Out of 1,000 people who took the survey: 87 percent said they would support a cap on State spending in the NYS budget, 65 percent supported a state budget that reduces spending on education, and 57 percent supported a state budget that reduces spending on health care.
Marcellino discussed how the data relates to Glen Cove: “The first question was a five to one response from those residents from the City of Glen Cove as a subset who were in favor of the tax cap,” said Marcellino. “When you added in the education question, it was more than two to one.”
While the majority of residents were in favor of a tax cap, Laria said that the cap has the potential to bring the Glen Cove School District to its knees.
“Long Island is taking a bigger hit than the rest of the state,” said Marcellino. “It’s a negotiation we’re involved in right now. This is step one; step two is an analysis of the government’s proposals; step three is looking for alternatives.”
If the tax cap is approved by the State Assembly, it will contain mandate relief for the districts and the municipalities, said Marcellino: “We all realize, that’s a must,” he said.
Marcellino addressed concerns from both the BOE and residents about the MTA payroll tax, state aid, tenure, the Triborough Amendment and health care; and residents said they left the meeting with a better understanding of government and budgets.
“I think it just brought home truly what’s going on in Albany, and the give and take that has to occur,” said Glen Cove resident Cheryl Hatala. “I think he was able to explain how it’s going to effect us better than just reading it in Newsday. It really just reaffirmed what we knew, but I think it brought it closer to what it really means to us here.”