Voters across the South Fork took to the polls on Tuesday, May 18, to vote in favor of or against local school district budgets and to fill vacancies on area school boards.
With the exception of the Bridgehampton School District (see separate story), voters overwhelmingly approved spending plans for the 2021-22 school year in all South Fork districts.
Board of Education elections in most districts were uncontested. However, in the Quogue Union Free School District, candidates Deborah Disston and Holy Degnan each received 75 votes, and a run-off election will be scheduled.
Sag Harbor Union Free School District
The Sag Harbor School District budget for the 2021-22 school year passed on Tuesday night, with the proposed budget of $44,871,539 earning 344 yes votes and 142 no votes. Three additional propositions on the ballot easily passed as well. Proposition 2, to establish a facilities improvement capital reserve fund, passed, 359-117; proposition 3, to purchase a new school bus, passed, 361-124; and proposition 4, to allow the district clerk to conduct registration of voters, passed by a margin of, 409-71.
School board candidates Ryan Winter and Jordana Sobey ran unopposed, with Mr. Winter garnering 364 votes and Ms. Sobey garnering 389. There were 28 various write-ins.
Tuckahoe Common School District
Tuckahoe Common School District voters approved a $23 million budget, which increased its tax levy by about 2 percent to just over $19 million. Voters also approved propositions to install a new roof using capital reserve funds, to enter into a tuition agreement with Southampton Union Free School District, and to levy $56,650 for Southampton Youth Association and $10,000 for the Parrish Art Museum. With 123 votes, Sean Hattrick was elected to the school board for a three-year term effective July 1.
East Quogue Union Free School District
Voters in East Quogue handily passed a $26.9 million budget, 367-66. The budget accounts for an increase in spending of $63 4,285, or about 2.41 percent. Voters also approved the library budget, 388-44, and a proposition to use $300,000 in reserve funds to pay for a new fuel oil tank.
The lone school board candidate, Chris Hudson, received 398 votes.
Quogue Union Free School District
The Quogue Union Free School District’s $9.5 million budget was easily approved, 145-22, as was the district’s library budget, 135-23.
The district will have to conduct a re-vote in the School Board election, as candidates Deborah Disston and Holy Degnan each received 75 votes. The district will release information in the future regarding the process for the re-vote.
Montauk Public School
Voters in Montauk easily passed the proposed $20.6 million budget, 109-9.
A proposition to decrease transportation mileage for students from 50 to 25 miles was also approved, 103-14.
School Board candidate Nick Finazzo received 110 votes, while Vincent Biondo received 2 votes.
Wainscott Common School District
Wainscott voters approved a $3.8 million budget, 41-2. Kelly Anderson was a elected to a three-year term on the School Board with 40 votes. Challenger Michael Hansen received 2 votes.
Two five-year tuition contracts with the Sag Harbor Union Free School District were approved, 41-2, for elementary school students in grades four through six, and 40-2, for grades seven to 12.
Springs Public School
Springs School District community members approved the proposed $30,800,134 2021-22 school year budget, a 2.5 percent, or $750,704 increase, 199-67 Tuesday, May 18.
Residents also voted in favor of Proposition 2, 195 to 67, authorizing the board of education to purchase one passenger bus and one minivan not to exceed the estimated maximum cost of $150,000. Proposition 3, which authorizes the board to expend $1,100,000 from the 2014 additions, renovations and upgrades capital reserve to replace the roof at Springs School, also passed, 212-50.
Current board of education President Barbara Dayton won back her seat with 193 votes. Her challenges, Hella Drew, received 59 votes.
“I’m delighted that I can continue serving my community,” Ms. Dayton said on Wednesday. “I appreciate that my fellow Springs residents have confidence in me and am very grateful that they approved our budget.”
East Hampton Union Free School District
East Hampton Union Free School District residents voted for the proposed $75,157,245 budget, a 4.41 percent, or $3,177,672 increase from the 2020-21 school year budget, 212-28.
Board of Education members Christina DeSanti, Justine O’Mara Limonius and Sarah Minardi retained their seats with 196, 178 and 194 votes, respectively.
Hampton Bays Union Free School District
Hampton Bays Union Free School District community members approved the proposed $57,318,187 2021-22 school year budget, a 3.83 percent, or $2,113,102 increase, 711-114.
Proposition 2, which authorizes the use of up to $3,500,000 from the reserve fund to replace the elementary school roof, was also approved by voters, 716-108, while Proposition 3, which authorizes the use of up to $300,000 in undesignated, unreserved fund balance from the 2020-21 budget for repairs, renovations or upgrades to facilities/grounds, passed 724-98.
Board of education members Anne Culhane and Liz Scully were re-elected with 545 and 567 votes, respectively, while challenger and retiring science teacher Richard Iannelli garnered 410 votes.
“I am very happy about the results. Congratulations to Liz Scully, and thank you Mr. Iannelli for his interest in our schools,” Ms. Culhane said. “Thank you Hampton Bays for coming out today to vote. I appreciate your support of our schools and our board of education. I look forward to achieving our goals.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue serving as a trustee on the Hampton Bays Board of Education,” Ms. Scully said. “I look forward to being a part of the team that will help our district navigate through the end of the pandemic, and making sure we continue to meet the needs of our students, families and community.”
Westhampton Beach Union Free School District
Westhampton Beach Union Free School District residents voted 199-43 in favor of the proposed $60,108,537 budget for the 2021-22 school year, a 1.95 percent, or $1,151,260 budget-to-budget increase.
Proposition 2, which authorizes the Board of Education to contract with the trustees of the Westhampton Free Library in an amount of $2,368,767, was approved 192-50.
Board member George R. Kast Jr. won back his seat, garnering 204 votes.
Sagaponack Common School District
Voters in the Sagaponack Common School District approved a $1.7 million budget, 23-2. A four-year tuition agreement with the Sag Harbor Union Free School District for students in grades four through six was also approved, 24-0, with one abstention. A second tuition agreement with Sag Harbor for students in grades seven through 12 was also approved by the same margin.
School Board candidate Lauren Thayer received 24 votes, with one abstention.
Southampton Union Free School District
With 408 votes in favor and 167 opposed, the Southampton Union Free School district passed its nearly $74 million budget and $60.5 million tax levy, and approved propositions to tap capital reserve funds for school alterations, repairs and reconstruction, to extend the lease for administrative office space for an additional five-year term, and to contract $255,000 for services with the Southampton History Museum, $397,248 for the Parrish Art Museum, and $416,500 for Southampton Youth Association.
Southampton School Board newcomer Cara Conklin-Wingfield and current School Board President Jacqueline Robinson were elected to four-year terms with 446 and 420 votes, respectively, and with 395 votes, current Vice President SunHe Sherwood-Dudly will serve the balance of Charles Styler’s unexpired term, which ends on June 30, 2023.
Remsenburg-Speonk Union Free School District
Voters in the Remsenburg-Speonk Union Free School District approved a $15.2 million budget for the 2021-22 school year, 148-30.
A tuition contract with the Westhampton Beach Union Free School District for grades seven through 12 was approved, 173-6.
The district’s library budget was approved, 167-12.
School Board candidate Jennifer Ashley received 163 votes; Mary Greiner received 155 votes. Both will serve three-years terms on the board.
Amagansett Union Free School District
Voters in Amagansett approved the school district’s $11.9 million budget for the 2021-22 school year, 75-15.
A number of propositions were also approved.
Proposition 2, to spend $150,000 for the replacement and upgrade of a basketball court, was passed, 76-13. Proposition 3, to establish a 2021 Energy and Technology Upgrade Capital Reserve Fund, was approved, 79-10, and the library budget was approved, 81-8.
Running unopposed, Dawn Rana Brophy garnered 77 votes in the Board of Education election.