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School Board Presents Budget at Annual Hearing

Average Glen Cove taxpayer will shoulder $123 increase for the year, board says.

The Glen Cove School Board presented its  at its yearly budget hearing Tuesday night at .

In compliance with the state's tax cap, the projected tax levy increase stands at 2 percent. If residents vote to pass the budget next week, the estimated increase for average residential tax payers will be $123 for the year, according to the board.

Resident Rick Smith noted that commercial properties are taxed at a higher rate. 

The board's budget, along with three of its seats, will go to a public vote on Tuesday, May 15.

If passed, the district will retain all of its current programs and services: eight-period schedules for the middle school and high school with full teams and comprehensive elective offerings, respectively. The district will also continue its visual arts program, which superintendent Joseph Laria commended at the meeting for its student-produced video on the budget.

Attendance was in the single digits for the hearing, and was noted as reflective of general voter apathy towards the educational system and budget process in Glen Cove. Trustee Ida McQuair noted that even the meeting's handful of attendees represented an increase from last year. 

Resident Allison Gasparelli also pointed out that not one of this year's challenging were present at the meeting.

"The apathy shown by the public towards this process is a sin," she said. "People always complain that their taxes are high, their kids aren't getting what they need, and look at tonight's turnout."

Board member David Huggins agreed, noting historically low voter turnout for last year's vote - 8 percent of the city's 16,000 registered voters.

Trustee Joel Sunshine pointed out that "nothing was to happen" at the meeting, a mandated presentation of the adopted budget.

Resident Rick Smith, who has in the past, shared that increased public participation would also raise awareness of the board's and administration's hard work.

After the meeting, Laria fielded a question about the recent groping of a freshman student in the high school. The student's mother told News 12 that school officials cited that the gap in response from security was due to budget cuts, which resulted in a lack of security manpower.

"[The school district] needs to revisit its budget," she said.

Laria responded that there had been no proposed budget cuts to the school's security force. 

Tom Terrific May 09, 2012 at 11:20 AM
For those who have always thought their votes - 'NO' votes, that is to say - don't count, you couldn't be more wrong. Due to the new tax cap law, if a budget is defeated twice (once in May, and again in June), school taxes are FROZEN at the prior year's level. In other words, NO INCREASE AT ALL. And there is no way the school district can get around it; there is no wiggle room. Why do I mention it? I mention it because this powerful mechanism given to the voters never existed before. So, if you're of the mindset that over the past 20 years ( give or take) school taxes have risen to unconscionable levels, there is now a mechanism in place to get some real relief. On the other hand, if you're of the mindset that the school budgets have been reasonable, teachers and administrators are compensated fairly, and that no expense should be spared in the education of the children, your 'YES' vote will have the same impact that it's always had. In any case, folks, Tuesday, May 15 is the day to vote. There is no longer any valid excuse for any able-bodied, eligible voter not to vote. We're talking about an election that involves nearly two-thirds of your entire property tax bill. Get out and vote!
Gene May 09, 2012 at 12:07 PM
I will vote No. The status quo of this administration and a few members of the board are a disgrace. When will we see true leadership that steps forward with a zero increase YTY and true out of the box recommendations. No increases for anyone (union and non union), all new hires start at a reduced salary (no more they should make X because that is what they pay in other districts), consolidation of duplicate responsibilities, all after school programs pay as you play (sports, instruments, art etc.), increased pay for benefits for all employees, pay cuts across the board, using technology to drive efficiencies, teaming with local districts to recognize savings. By the way all of the above are happening in the private sector. It is painful for the employees but it is mandatory in these times. Where I work we haven’t seen a budget increase in over 10 years. By the way our results have improved and those of us that are working are happy to have a job.

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