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Voters Pass School Budget, Maginniss Edges O'Connor for BOE Race

Residents say yes to the 2011-12 school budget by a vote of 2,175-1,617.

Despite facing a 7.7 percent property tax increase, West Islip residents came out in support of the proposed school budget, by a vote of 2,175 to 1,617.

In addition to giving a nod to the school budget for the coming school year, West Islip residents also elected incumbent Bob Ulrich and to three-year terms on the board of education. 

In what was a close race, Maginniss was able to edge out Kevin O'Connor for Sharon Bieselin's seat by a vote of 1,620 to 1,301.  Ulrich ran unopposed and received 1,968 votes. 

The 2011-12 budget calls for a spending plan of $107,143,770, with a 2.92 percent budget to budget increase.  The annual tax increase on a home with an average assessed value of $45,000 will be $45.12 per month or $541.44 per year.

However, the approved budget also calls for staff and program reductions throughout the district.  A total of 25 staff positions will be lost, as well as summer school and JV2/9 athletic programs.  But Superintendent Rick Simon said that districts throughout Suffolk County are eliminating such athletic programs and even if West Islip kept them, they'd have no one to play. 

In what was a difficult fiscal year for many Long Island school districts, West Islip was able to work past the hefty state aid cuts and agree on a budget that will cost residents $3 million more than the current budget of $104.1 million. 

Stay tuned as Patch will update this article as more information is obtained. 

MJ Turner May 18, 2011 at 02:57 AM
Woohoo! Thanks for supporting the kids, West Islip!
Frank May 18, 2011 at 04:35 AM
Only 3,792 from over 18,000 registered voters voted on the budget. 57% voted yes. Last year 4,050 voted and the weather conditions were the same as today. Last year 61% voted yes. Last year 14,000 residents did not care enough to vote. Over 250 people that voted last year decided not to vote this year. That is just sad. Basically there are 2,000 people in West Islip that will vote yes no matter what the budget looks like. The no votes increased slightly. The biggest growing number is those who do not vote. Just wait until they see their school taxes next year. They are getting what they deserve.
Glenn Denzler May 18, 2011 at 01:38 PM
Lobby your State Senator Johnson to repeal the triborough amendment ending steps, levy a property tax cap.....I suppose for those who are wealthy this extra $600 to $800 net income out of a homeowner budget towards the school budget is meaningless. For many middle income who lost jobs, have not seen raises for years, this takes food off the table, affects paying mortgages. Due to voter apathy I can only hope Gov. Cuomo, Senator Johnson, State Senate can legislate away mandatory step increases (raises), tax cap of 2%, eliminating sick days/vacation days being rolled into earned income to fatten pensions, push greater contribution into health benefits, modify the current collective bargining agreements designed to beenfit the unions....to hinder further explosive increases of 75% of budget being made up of teachers wages/benefits/pensions. Probably not as our Senators are bought and sold by the union vote. The simple fact is the school board and their memebers will not tackle these issues and at meet the candidates night they were very reluctant to even talk about this huge issue of teacher salary/benefits/pensions, expenses that are driving these huge tax increases....Get the Gov / Senator involved or consider moving out of the District, probably State as this appears a problem all over the state. The baord counts on apathy in order to get these budgets approved, how it hurts those who can't afford it, well, who cares I suppose.

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