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District Has Tough Decisions To Make

Approximately $1.4 million in budget cuts were proposed at the Glen Cove Board of Education meeting last week in order to make up for the gap in revenues in the initial estimated budget for next school year.

 

Assistant Superintendent for Business Victoria Galante presented an outline of the program costs for next year’s projected budget. The total appropriations for next year are projected at $80,307,873, while the projected revenues are just $78,831,086, leaving a budget gap of $1,476,787, according to the information provided by Galante at the meeting. A total of $59,919,362 in appropriations for next year’s budget comes from salaries and related expenses (including insurance and retirement costs), which Galante noted “is a huge chunk" of the budget.

 

“As we begin to close the gap, we do what is the worst part of my job: looking at possible reductions and proposing eliminations and options for cuts,” said Superintendent Maria L. Rianna. She stressed that the list of reductions are all just possibilities; “these are not at all set in stone,” she said.

 

Some of the possible reductions proposed include cutting two administrative positions for a savings of about $300,000; decreasing the number of monitors, aides and teaching assistants by 10 (out of about 156 total in the district) for a savings of $150,000; reducing the hours of kindergarten aides for a savings of $150,000; reducing AIS staff at the elementary level for a savings of $160,000; reducing the amount of permanent subs from for a savings of $90,000; reducing three custodial/maintenance positions for a $110,000 savings and reducing one full time librarian for a savings of $80,000. 

 

Other possibilities include decreasing staff hours at the secondary level due to low enrollment in electives, for a savings of $100,000. Rianna said this savings, equivalent to one full-time employee, could come from a reduction in sections of several classes, resulting in hours being cut from several employees rather than one job lost. She also raised the possibility of decreasing one elementary class to save $80,000, reducing clubs by 50 percent to save $42,000 and reducing sports at the middle school to save $48,000.

 

Additional considerations proposed include eliminating or reducing the district’s pre-K program to save $175,000, reverting to “neighborhood schools” to save $200,000 and eliminating Academics’ Plus to save $80,000.

 

The revenues in the projected budget include an estimated amount of state aid, currently slated at about $8.3 million for next year. Rianna said she met with Sen. Carl Marcellino earlier this month in Albany, who talked about his support for Glen Cove and told her he "does believe we will get a bigger portion of the pie” though what the final number is remains uncertain.

 

The board will be discussing the budget and considering these options in the coming weeks before adopting a budget and putting it up for the vote on Tuesday, May 20.

 

Rianna also discussed the veteran’s tax exemption, which would affect 690 veterans in the district and cost taxpayers about $121 per household. She said a public hearing will be held so that residents and board members will have a chance to voice their input, at a date to be determined.


News

Local residents were out in full force at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting at Glen Cove City Hall in opposition of a new 7-11 convenience store that is set to be built at the corner of 4th Street and Cedar Swamp Road. According to Stuart Grossman, chairman of the Zoning Board, the meeting was officially supposed to be focused on sign variances for the new store, but residents wanted to make sure their voices were heard.

New York State Assemblyman and Frost Pond Road resident Michael Montesano said that he hopes the board will deny the application for the new 7-11 because of the traffic impact and light pollution the new store will create.

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”


Sports

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is holding its 34th Annual R. Brinkley Smithers Golf Invitational, a charity tournament, on Monday, Sept. 22, at The Creek and Piping Rock Clubs in Locust Valley.

This year, LICADD will have Kristin Thorne, Emmy Award Winning WABC-TV news reporter and personality joining them as Emcee and Auctioneer. The live auction boasts playing opportunities at some of the country’s top golf courses, along with dozens of silent auction and raffle prizes to please the most discriminating of tastes.

All athletes interested in putting their bodies to the ultimate test can hop on over to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, which will once again be the site of Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24. 

 

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Zumba-Thon Fundraiser

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Live Music

Wednesday, Aug. 27

School Supply Program

Saturday, Aug. 30



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com