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Voters pass budgets by big margins

Herricks, NHP-GCP, Sewanhaka and Hillside Library budgets OK’d

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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 11:30 am | Updated: 2:27 pm, Thu May 17, 2012.

The school budgets in Herricks and New Hyde Park-Garden City Park were approved by wide margins in voting Tuesday, as was the budget for the Sewanhaka Central High School District.

In New Hyde Park- Garden City Park voting, the Hillside Public Library budget was also approved. All of the budgets presented are within the parameters of the complex formula for the state-mandated tax cap which took effect this year.

In Herricks, the school budget also passed with 1,661 voters in favor and 949 opposed. In uncontested races for two open seats, PTA activist Nancy Feinstein drew 1,616 votes and Brian Hassan, co-vice president of the Herricks Athletic Boosters, drew 1,473 votes in being elected to three-year terms on the board.

Feinstein and Hassan entered the race after long-time board members Richard Buckley and Peter Grisafi decided to not seek re-election.

The Herricks School Board presented a $101.27 million budget for 2012-13, which represents a 2.29 percent increase over the current $98.99 million budget. The tax levy increase is projected at 2.88 percent for a total of $89.4 million.

“We’re thrilled. It was a great team effort,” said Christine Turner, Herricks school board president.

Turner praised Herricks Council of the PTAs co-presidents Judy Olson and Maria Bono, who she said “worked tirelessly in getting the word out.”

The New Hyde Park- Garden City Park budget passed with 1,047 votes in favor and 579 opposed.

The New Hyde Park- Garden City Park School Board presented voters with a 2012-13 budget of $34,494,380 for 2012-13, representing a 2.88 percent increase over the current $33,527,125 budget. The underlying tax levy will be a 2.88 percent increase to $28,150,071 from the current $27,361,847.

New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Superintendent of Schools Robert Katulak said he was “very happy” with what he called an “excellent” result in the voting. 

“Passage of this budget allows us to continue all of our programs and maintain our staff. We will continue our efforts in a fiscally responsible way for all the students that we serve,” he said.

School board incumbent David Del Santo won election to another three-year term, drawing 975 votes in an uncontested race. 

In a contested race for the other school board seat in play, incumbent Frank Miranda prevailed in a close contest, drawing 672 votes with challenger Lynn Lewandowski pulling 615 votes.

“I’m happy to be back on the board. It was a good race,” Miranda said.

“I was very happy. I’d like to thank everybody who came out to vote, especially considering the weather last night,” Lewandowski said, adding that she wished Miranda “a lot of luck.”

Lewandowski, who works as a teacher’s aide in the New Hyde Park Road School, said, “I’ll still be here to support the schools and the community.”

In New Hyde Park-Garden City Park voting, the Hillside Public Library budget also was passed by a comfortable margin with 961 votes in favor and 541 votes opposed.

The Hillside Public Library Board proposed budget for 2012-13 of $2.88 million, a 1.89 percent increase of $53,700 over the 2011-12 budget of $2.83 million.

Incumbent Hillside Public Library Trustee Peter Pinto was re-elected in an uncontested race, drawing 926 votes.

The Sewanhaka Central High School District was passed by a nearly 2-1 margin, with 1,008 voting in favor of it and 525 opposed.

The Sewanhaka Central High School District School Board presented a district budget for 2012-13 of $167.03 million, representing a 2.94 percent increase of $4.77 million over its 2011-12 budget of $163.97 million. The projected tax levy will increase by 2.22 percent.

“We certainly want to extend our thanks to all the component districts for supporting the budget,” said Sewanhaka Superintendent of Schools Ralph Ferrie.

He said that 60 percent of voters in the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park district voted in support of the budget. The Sewanhaka budget was approved by an overall 60 percent plurality last year.

“It was fairly consistent with the results over the past several years. I think the fact that we were slightly below the tax cap benefitted us,” Ferrie said, adding, “We’re still going to have challenges as we move forward.”

School budgets that exceeded the state tax cap were defeated in Floral Park and Elmont, which are part of the Sewanhaka school district. 

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