Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 20 May 2011 00:00
On Tuesday, May 17 both neighboring school districts, Levittown and Island Trees, were able to announce passed budgets.
Although by a narrow gap, the resident voters of the Levittown School District passed the adopted budget with 2,967 votes. There were 2,414 no votes.
Levittown’s adopted budget totals $197,907,475, up 2.6 percent from the 2010/11 total budget of $192,843,816.
Proposition One also passed with 2,967 yes, and 2,414 no.
Incumbent Michael Pappas was re-elected as the School Board of Education president, receiving 2,923 votes. Peter Porrazzo, also an incumbent, received 2,658 votes for re-election as the board’s vice president. Frank Ward received 2,642 for election into a trustee seat.
“As president of the Levittown Board of Education, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for passing this year’s budget. While the 55 percent yes vote is historically “pretty high” for our community, it still means that 45 percent of our community is not completely satisfied. We see that,” said Michael Pappas. “The job of this BOE and Central Administration is to improve on that. Our commitment to you, the parent, the student, the employee and of course the taxpayer is to provide you with the best and most efficient progressive educational system in the region. We can do that, and we are on the right path with this budget approval. This vote is an affirmation of your trust in us, and we will not let you down.
Pappas stated, “I am proud of the hard work and dedication that your elected school board officials have displayed this year. We will continue to do so in the future.” On behalf of the Board of Education, he expressed thanks for the community’s continued support.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Herman Sirois also expressed thanks to the citizens of Levittown for their wisdom in supporting the children of the community by passing this year’s school budget.
The Island Trees School District budget also passed with 894 residents voting yes, and 520 residents voting no. The district proposed a 2.99 percent tax levy for the 2011-12 school year, amounting to a .52 percent budget-to-budget increase from the 2010-11 school year. The approved budget for the 2011-12 year will be $57,315,640. Island Trees lost $1,303,338 in state aid.
The heavily contested elections of the Island Trees School Board of Education resulted in incumbent Patricia Mahon being re-elected as the board’s president, receiving 870 votes for the three-year term; Brian Kelty received 446 votes.
Vice President incumbent Ken Rochon received 1,035 votes for the three-year term; opponent Gus Milonakis withdrew from the election.
George Storm received 660 votes to fill Robert Condela’s seat for a three-year term; Joseph Buda received 418 votes, and Robert Vilbig received 265 votes.
Daniel Donahue received 750 votes to fill the remainder of Christine Holt’s seat until the end of June 2012; John Fontana received 390 votes, and Michael Kutzma received 316 votes.
Superintendent of Island Trees School District, Dr. Charles Murphy said, “I would like to thank the Island Trees school community for once again supporting the budget. This was a challenging budgetary year. The Board of Education did a terrific job maintaining the current programs, services and opportunities given the tremendous state aid reduction this year. We understand these are difficult times and to have such support from the community speaks volumes.”