Massapequa Budget Vote May 17, BOE Trustee Seat, Berner Referendum

As you may or may not know, the Massapequa community is asked to cast their votes on Tuesday, May 17.  It is very important to get out as it is one of the best ways to have a voice for you as a taxpayer and for your child/ren as a parent.  Here is some information about what we will be voting on, including Budget Vote, the Berner Fields Referendum and the BOE Trustee Seat.  Your views are your own, and everyone is entitled to their own.  This is your opportunity to have a say.

Voter Registration Day: May 10, 2016, 4 – 8 p.m. at each voting location.  The last day to register is May 12.  You can see all presentations on the budget as well as other videos and presentations on the MSD website.  The budget and trustee vote is May 17, 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. at MHS, Fairfield, Lockhart and McKenna.

Applications for absentee ballots will be obtainable during school business hours from the District Clerk beginning Monday, April 4, 2016.  Completed applications must be received by the District Clerk at least seven (7) days before the election if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the election, if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter.  Absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk not later than 5:00 p.m., prevailing time, on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

1 THE BUDGET VOTE:  There is no budget increase this year.  The budget increase is 0%. The proposed tax levy is a decrease of 1.19%, which results in a reduction of $1,836,635 in taxes.  Line by line details on the budget can be seen here.

We hope you will vote YES for the budget.  It is important for all of us to know what happens if the budget is voted down on May 17.  The District can put the budget up for a re-vote a month later, on June 21. If there is no re-vote or if the budget is voted down again in June, all costs linked to equipment, other than what is tied to health and safety, will have to be removed from the budget and the District will have to charge for outside use of any of the District’s facilities. This means our children may lose so much, and our fees for outside activities will go up, as so many organizations such as the Little Leagues, the CYOs, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Senior Citizens and more use the facilities. – Massapequa Mom, Dad and Family

2 THE BERNER FIELDS REFERENDUM: The BOE presented the information during the public Board of Ed meeting on April 7, and the video presentation can be seen here.  The Berner fields are in disarray and have not been updated in a reported 30 years.  All middle school children use the fields for PE, and many sports programs also use the fields.  There is a referendum to use $3.3 million from the Capital Improvement Reserve to renovate Berner Athletic/Track into a multi sports complex.  If approved, there will be NO TAX IMPACT.  Additionally, if approved, this project will be eligible to receive 53.3% back from the state in building aid further saving the district $1.7 million (a net cost $1.6 million, again NO TAX IMPACT).

We also hope that you vote YES for the Berner Fields Referendum to allow the District to use money from the Capital Reserve Fund (which is not requiring additional taxes) to renovate an athletic field at Berner Middle School, a field that is in severe need of repair.  If the capital improvement referendum is not approved, the District loses the opportunity to receive 53% of the cost back from the state in the form of building aid. The District is currently eligible for this aid due to other capital improvement projects being conducted at Berner.

3 TRUSTEE VOTE: There is one trustee seat open this election.  The two candidates are Mr. Mark David and Mr. Tim Taylor.  Here is more information on the BOE: “The Massapequa Board of Education consists of five members, each elected by the registered voters of the Massapequa Union Free School District, Town of Oyster Bay, for three-year terms, serving without pay. The Board, representing the residents of the District, is the legislative and policy-making body responsible for all regulations governing public education within District schools. The Board of Education delegates the overall management of these policiesto the Superintendent of Schools as its Chief Executive Officer. The Superintendent may, in turn, further delegate authority to the administrative staff, to faculty members, and to students.”

May 4 was Meet the Candidates night.  Mrs. Siani, a parent in the District, was kind enough to take notes in order for those who were unable to attend to read.  With her permission, I am sharing those notes for you to review.  Please click here.

mark david meme 3 b

We are completely behind Mr. Mark David.  While we are thankful for Mr. Taylor’s nine years on the Board, we feel it is time for a fresh new voice for our children.  We have four children in the district, we feel they are getting an excellent education, and we feel they deserve the voice of someone that stands for ALL children.

Mr. Taylor has stressed that he is the voice of the people, but he does not represent our voice (my husband and I).  There are 40,000 taxpayers in this community, and over the last two years (specifically the last six months),  Mr. Taylor seems to only represent the 3000 that share his views on where the sixth graders should be housed.  While I understand some parents and taxpayers are concerned and upset with this move, the Board of Education has voted it through, and it is time to move on.  There are 7,126 children in this district, and there is more to educating our children than what building they are in when in sixth grade.  It is time for a fresh voice to represent ALL children.

I want a trustee that will gather facts, hear from all sides and develop his own opinion before voting.  As addressed at Meet the Candidates night, Mr. Taylor voted against a sensitivity training for teachers in the district related to the LGBT student population. He explained that he voted this way because the brochure for the company providing the training stated that they provided youth-to-youth sexuality and health training.  As a Board member, he was well aware that this was not for youth to youth training, but was for the teachers.  I am very upset that a member of our BOE would not find the sensitivity training to be imperative.  Life is hard enough for these kids as it is.  Again, it is time for a fresh voice to represent ALL children.

If a Board member feels that something is right or wrong but the people he associates with on social media feel otherwise, I would hope that Board member casts his votes based on his OWN principles and research he has done.  I want a trustee that stays away from the negativity on social media. As a blogger, I value social media immensely, but I hold the Board of Education to a higher standard.  His or her vote is incredibly important to ALL members of the society, not just those in his or her social circles.  As I’ve said before, it is time for a fresh voice to represent ALL children.

I’ve heard that the Long Island Opt Out group has endorsed Mr. Taylor, but Mr. Taylor has admitted that he does not opt out his children.  The movement has endorsed him because he attended all meetings and spoke out favoring the movement.  I am just very perplexed that the movement endorses a parent who does not opt out his children, especially because many parents who were seeking information over the last few years to help them in their decision of whether or not to opt out were met with disdain, often being put down because we did not opt out.  The endorsement feels very personal, not representative of the majority of parents, and again, it is time for a fresh voice to represent ALL children.  

Mark David is that fresh new voice to represent ALL children.  While he and his wife may have put his sons into Catholic schools, for personal religious reasons, he has a collective 38 years either being a student or parent in the district.  He has given countless hours giving back to the community as a 30 year police officer, had been a volunteer fire fighter for 25 years, coaches many sports for many years, has served as president and vice president of the PTA at both the elementary and secondary levels, and is selflessly willing and hoping to serve as Board of Education trustee for the school district.  It is evident that Mr. David has done and continues to do all he does in our community not only for his own children and the families he is directly associated with, Mr. David does and continues to give for the ENTIRE community.

Click to enlarge Mark David Flyer

Click to enlarge

Disclaimer: All words in italics are personal opinions of the writer and her family.  As this is a privately owned blog, we are happy to be able to offer our opinions to our readers.  Because of this, we have turned off comments on this post.  Should you disagree with any of these opinions, you have the right to utilize your own platform to share those opinions.  Writer has the utmost respect for all of our BOE volunteers as well as our administration, faculty, PTA and community members, and hopes that Massapequa will continue to be that wonderful town we all love.  Thank you for respecting our opinions, as we do yours.  

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Source: Massapequa Mom



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