Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00
With term limits set to expire for three positions on the Island Trees Board of Education, three contestants have emerged, sparking a potential six-way contest for the school board, this May.
For the three challengers—lifelong Island Trees residents Paul Giambona, Michael Rich and Brian Fielding—the biggest issue affecting the school community surrounds the recent proposal to errect 147 to 250 condominium units for seniors on 11.3 acres of property housing the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow schools.
Although the school board’s response to an outpouring of community concerns indicate that the district plans to reexamine the property, Giambona said his concerns surround the transparent nature of the project and its cost.
“One our major concerns is the [school board’s] blatent lack of transparency,” said Giambona. “It is important that the right things are being done in the interest of the people.”
According to Giambona, while the board never agreed to sell the property, the district spent thousands of dollars in fees for a real estate attorney, appraiser, and broker. “That could’ve went to so many different things,” he added.
During a recent discussion on the property, challenger Michael Rich said that while he is glad that the district has decided to return to the drawing board, the disconnect between the board and school community was responsible for the proposal.
“This would’ve been a terrible mistake,” Rich said. “There are other ways to go about it.”
With three open seats on the school board, only one incumbent has confirmed plans to run for reelection. Calls to Island Trees School Board President Kenneth Rochon and Trustee George Storm were not retruned, as of press time.
Pat Mahon, a board incumbent, announced that she plans to run for reelection against the three challengers this May.
“I stand on my record over these past nine years,” said Mahon.
During her tenure on the school Board of Education, Mahon helped to increase AP classes in the district, implemented new safety protocols following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., closed the high school campus, and worked with the budget committee to bring this year’s budget to a proposed zero tax levy increase.
While Mahon feels the challengers will have a difficult time matching her record, Giambona, Rich and Fielding feel that changes need to be made.
“After a certain amount of ideas, it is good to get a different perspective,” Fielding said.
With more than a month before school district voters go to the polls, The Levittown Tribune will continue to provide election coverage leading up to the May elections.
Saturday, 18 October 2014 00:00
Communities value their libraries, and at the Levittown Library, the library staff, in turn, truly appreciates their patrons. Employees at the Levittown Public Library, with a talent for knitting, demonstrate their commitment to the community’s teens by making “amigurumi”—small knitted or crocheted stuffed toys—for use in the reading program.
Friday, 17 October 2014 08:27
Who says you have to travel into Manhattan for a fun-filled evening of delicious food and drink? YES Community Counseling Center hosted its 7th Annual “A Taste of the Town”, featuring many of the South Shore’s finest culinary establishments. All proceeds from the event benefited YES, a non-profit community-based organization providing services to children and families in the community.
Friday, 17 October 2014 08:32
The Island Trees Squirts Rockets U-6 team met with town officials, Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes at the 2014 Island Trees Soccer Club Opening Day Parade and Ceremony held at Stokes Elementary School. Pictured also with the Rockets U-6 team is President Joe Badolato, Event Coordinator Keri Cinelli, Equipment Commissioner Chris Blum, Travel Commissioner Mike Rich, Vice-President Brian Fielding and Rockets U-6 Coach Gina Weyland.
Friday, 17 October 2014 08:31
With six second half goals, the Farmingdale State Rams men’s soccer team picked up a 6-0 conference victory over the Sarah Lawrence Gryphons on Oct. 11, to improve to 5-8-1 overall, 2-2-1 in the Skyline. The visiting Gryphons fell to 2-9, 0-5 in conference play.