At the last New Hyde Park/Garden City Park School Board meeting the board announced that voting would remain at the Manor Oaks School for 2008 for all residents.
The board had previously announced that the voting would take place in all four schools, but according to New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School Board President Patricia Rudd, the board felt it would be too much of a transition for a new school board clerk since it has never been done before.
Therefore, the school board budget vote, the trustee votes and the Hillside Library voting will all take place, as in the past, at the Manor Oaks School, 1950 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
As in the past only four machines will be required. When, and if, they make the jump to the four schools, the amount of voting machines will be doubled. So instead of the four machines needed at Manor Oaks, eight machines will be needed in the other schools, two for each school. Instead of costing the district $600 for the machines the cost will be increased to $1200. There will be additional security needed, at an undetermined cost, at this time but according to Rudd no additional personnel will be necessary.
Trustee Annette Girratani raised a concern that she had with calling each school an election "district" because it sounded like the "schools" were being separated. School board attorney Richard Nicolello said, "The thing is the election districts are identical to the attendance zones, which are used to divide the schools. New York State says that if you want to have the elections in the school buildings you have to create a term called an 'election district.' What we are doing, in fact, is just establishing four separate places to vote based on the zones of attendance and that is why we went out to create new maps. When you say you are not comfortable with the term district as opposed to attendance zone, they are actually the same thing."
Trustee Ernest Gentile added, "When I first came on the board I was not sure that we should have voting in four different schools. Having reviewed the reasons for doing the mapping and defining an actual school area was necessary, so the money spent to do that was necessary whether or not we to four different areas or not. However, postponing this for another year is necessary and I think doing that time it will give the public the opportunity to let us know what they want."
President Rudd then asked for a vote on the proposal to postpone the move to four schools for the vote and it was voted through, but trustee Girratani voted against the proposal.
After the change to have the voting remain at Manor Oaks for the 2008 election in the open comments from the public longtime New Hyde Park resident Rosemarie Hudson came to the microphone and said she felt it was the right of the residents to make the decision as to whether or not the voting should be moved. She said it should be included as a referendum on the next school board ballot and that the school board should not decide.
Sue Viscardi said she agreed with trustee Girratani and that when the voting moves to the other schools they should not be referred to as "districts." Once again, attorney Nicolello tried to explain that it was just a term that was being used due to the New York State rules and that it was just a term and meant nothing in the way of dividing the district and the districts merely followed the zones of attendance.
After the discussion, President Rudd moved to adjourn to executive session. The next school board meeting will be a special meeting to be held on December 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the Manor Oaks School, 1950 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park. The board will then convene into executive session to conduct interviews for the district clerk. They may conduct a public meeting to announce who they have chosen as the next school board clerk.