Given all the rhetoric flying around about the proposed Manhasset 2010-2011 School Budget, I decided to arrive at my own conclusion by researching budget information posted on several similarly ranked neighboring school district web sites. Both Garden City’s and Great Neck’s proposed budgets curtail existing programs. Both districts “rollover” budgets would require a 5 percent to 7 percent increase accompanied by a 7 percent to 8 percent tax levy increase. Great Neck’s proposed budget increase is 2.16 percent with a 2.89 percent increase in tax levy while Garden City’s figures are 3.21 percent and 4.52 percent respectively. Both of these school districts anticipate flat or slightly decreased enrollments next year. Manhasset’s enrollment will increase 2 percent.
I support Regina Rule for election to the school board. Susan and I have lived in Manhasset for 40 years, and I don’t recall ever writing a letter to the Manhasset Press, except in my capacity as chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Finance, but Regina would made such an outstanding member of the school board that I felt compelled to write this letter.
I know her as a very caring, compassionate medical doctor who treated me on an emergency basis. She also provided a large dose of patient education and prevention that has kept me from needing her services since then. Those personal skills will serve the community well if she is elected to the school board. She has my support.
Virginia W. D’Antonio
First of all, I’d like to thank all the candidates for running, it shows great enthusiasm for our community, for our children and their futures. Each has unique abilities that they bring to the process.
However, Greg Johnston has caught my eye as the candidate who has the ability to reclaim the transparency and accountability of the community. Johnston’s priorities are forward looking and his experience has proven that he is apt for the position. Please consider the following:
I have had the pleasure of knowing Craig Anderson for over 10 years and feel that the Manhasset community is fortunate to have a man with his dedication, intellect and drive seek a position on the Manhasset School Board. Craig is a great team player and has a very calm, intellectual demeanor that allows him to both analyze an issue as well as plan a course of action to resolve the issue.
I have always admired Craig’s uncanny ability to be the voice of reason when dealing with challenges. Just last year Craig and I sat on an athletic selection sub-committee. Craig’s insight and willingness to speak his mind were both refreshing and critical in helping the committee navigate through various issues presented.
There appears to be some continuing confusion regarding the direction of Manhasset’s AP program results based on the district’s Newsweek ranking. This confusion has persisted since the 2003 rankings were first questioned by the community in 2005. In my May 25, 2006 Manhasset Press post-budget vote column, I praised the district’s AP participation accomplishment, attempted to explain the “Challenge Index” formula used by Jay Matthews in Newsweek, and also addressed community concerns regarding the integrity of the district’s data submitted to Newsweek. The column’s major points are encapsulated below. The link to a copy of that column is http://www.manhasset.k12.ny.us/district.cfm?subpage=8346.
It was a pleasant sunny morning, Wednesday, April 21. Then, at 11:25 a.m., the power went out. This was the seventh time my home in Manhasset has had power down in the past three months.
Upon telephone inquiry to LIPA, the automated response was that parts of Manhasset, Great Neck, Searingtown, and several other Long Island areas were without power. It was stated that power was expected to return at 1 p.m.
I am writing to thank the residents of Manhasset for electing me to serve on the school board these past six years – a period of enormous positive change in our community. I have decided not to seek re-election. I leave the board confident that, simply said, we are in a better place now than we were six years ago.
A legal notice published by the Village of Plandome Manor in the April 15, edition of the Manhasset Press states in part: “The tentative budget provides for no compensation for the Mayor or Trustees.”
During the time I served in village government, no mayor, trustee, or member of any other board received compensation. I do not believe any of my predecessors in village office were compensated. Until the late 1980s, the village clerk was a village resident who served without compensation.
I have submitted a preliminary budget to the Manhasset Board of Education for its consideration and am recommending its adoption at the April 20, 2010 board meeting. I am prepared to defend and justify this recommendation at that meeting and, if adopted, thereafter. The proposed budget of $83,512,677 is 2.98 percent higher than the 2009-10 budget and will regrettably require an estimated 1.23 percent increase in the tax levy. Fifty-nine percent of the increase is mandated district contributions to the state pension system and workers compensation expense. If adopted, this preliminary proposed budget maintains all of the educational programs and services currently offered. If it fails to gain voter approval, there would be a corresponding $2,613,064 reduction in programs and services currently offered in order to implement a contingency budget.
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