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Voters Approve $156.4M Budget

Voters in the Farmingdale School District cast their ballots on May 20, to pass a $156.4 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, by a margin of 71 percent. 

 

According to unofficial tallies, 1,516 residents voted “yes” while 626 voted against the 2014-2015 budget. 

 

“When the Farmingdale community went to the polls on May 20, they spoke loud and clear,” Superintendent John Lorentz said. “They said that they understand the intrinsic value of the public school system, and are willing to take action to preserve it. We can’t thank them enough.”

 

The adopted budget represents a spending increase of $3,112,530—or 2.03 percent—over the 2013-2014 budget. 

 

Based on the Farmingdale School District’s 2014-2015 budget figures, employee benefit costs will increase by $2.7 million, while salaries will rise by $57,924 as a result of a required step increase.

 

The approved spending plan also includes a tax levy of $119.2 million—or 1.74 percent—for the 2014-2015 school year.

 

According to Farmingdale Assistant Superintendent of Business Paul Defendini, the goal in forumulating this year’s budget was to maintain the integrity of existing school programs. However, to do this, the district Board of Education needed to include a reduction in teachers and support staff and a slight increase in class sizes. 

 

“We are sensitive to what people are going through in this tough economy,” Defendini said. “It’s why we worked hard to preserve our programs while staying under the cap. We’re happy to see that the community responded in such an overwhelmingly positive way, and we thank them for it.”

 

In addition to the budget, voters approved two local propositions—to spend $985,000 from its capital reserve fund and to approve the Youth Council’s budget—by nearly 1,000 more “yes” votes each.

 

“The success of our district is made possible by the community consistently approving the budget,” said Board of Education President Shari Bardash-Eivers. “It allows us to maintain the wonderful education that has come to define Farmingdale schools, and for that we are extremely grateful.”

 

School board elections were a quiet affair this year, as incumbent John Capobianco would reclaim his seat on the Board of Education with 1597 votes. Because Vice President Steve Wilson decided not to run this year,  newcomer Ralph Morales would win Wilson’s seat in an uncontested election with 1,437 votes. 

News

Oyster Bay Town officials are mulling an override of the state’s 2 percent property tax cap for the second consecutive fiscal year. On Aug. 12, the town held a hearing to approve local legislation, giving the Town Council authority to pierce the cap.

 

However, according to Marta Kane, a spokesperson with the Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor John Venditto and the members of the Oyster Bay Town Council are not certain if they will entertain a repeat of last year, when the board adopted a $277 million budget, increasing the tax levy by $15,964,647—or 8.8 percent. 

Village officials have teamed up with James Faith Entertainment—founders of the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue—to organize Farmingdale’s first ever two-day music festival, this September 13 and 14. 

 

“Farmingdale is another town that is starting to move forward,” festival producer Jim Faith told the Farmingdale Observer, last May. “[The inaugural festival] will be small, but we’ll start growing it... music festival always take a few years to catch on.” 

 

Faith said that when he first started the Great South Bay Music Festival, back in 2007, it too started small, growing little by little each year. For its inaugural year, Faith booked folk musician Richie

Havens to headline the event. Now, more than eight years later, the festival has featured numerous big name musicians, including: the Doobie Brothers, WAR, Billy Squier, Taking Back Sunday, moe., and Blues legend B.B. King, to name a few. 


Sports

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 

After more than a month of group play, on Aug. 16, fourteen teams went head-to-head for a shot at the 2014 Farmingdale Baseball League’s 9/11 Tournament Championship. Here are some highlights from Saturday’s championships. 

 

8U Finals

Long Island Rangers 8 - Farmingdale Greendogs 9


Calendar

McKevitt Mobile Office Hours - August 21

Artisan Market - August 23

Blood Drive - August 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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