Friday, 13 May 2011 00:00
The true harbinger of spring comes on May 17. It is once again time to vote for school board members and school budgets.
My vote is for Christine Lupetin Perrino and Jane Ryan, the two incumbents on the school board. They proved to be articulate, knowledgeable and savvy. Lupetin Perrino and Ryan have backgrounds in marketing and accounting respectively. While school is not a business as far as students, teachers and parents are concerned, there is a business end to it. Therefore, we need people who have the expertise to deal with the financial end of education and who are able to make intelligent informed decisions for those they represent in the community.
Further, Lupetin Perrino and Ryan both know a gem of a bargain when they see one. Who’s the gem? Charles V. Sulc, our Superintendent of Schools. Many in the state have made much noise about the salaries of superintendents, but let’s take a realistic look. Our superintendent grosses $250,000 per year. Grosses. That is not net pay. Net pay would probably be around $175,000 if we take away 30 percent in taxes. That breaks down to $729.17 per day when divided by the 240 days he is contractually required to work. Before we break it down any further, let’s understand no superintendent works eight hours a day. That’s an impossibility. It is more like 10 hours or more per day on average. However, let’s use the number 8 for fun. $729.17 divided by 8 equals $91.15 per hour. I can’t even get a plumber for that amount. In other words, $91.15 for a man who has dedicated his life to the Massapequa School District, a man who has incredible knowledge, expertise and integrity? I’d say that’s a real bargain.
Lupetin Perrino and Ryan also know that times have changed and they work with administrators and teachers who are ready, willing and able to transition our students successfully into the 21st century. Times have changed. What existed 40 to 50 years ago is extinct. Today we have special education, technology, New York State assessments, and the changes keep coming. Both the administration and the Board have worked successfully together to effect these changes. One great example is the Cyber CafÈ that now exists in Massapequa High School. It is a wonderful facility that draws many students. It is state of the art. It is our tax dollars at work for the children of the community, and we should be proud that we have provided these funds and proud that those at the helm have used those dollars productively and wisely.
Lastly, they know our administration is financially responsible. The expenditure side of the budget is increasing by 1.72 percent and the tax levy by 1.64 percent. Additionally, why else would they have received more than $192,000 in Administrative Efficiency Aid? As far as this voter knows, no one is getting money for nothing. Nothing can be taken for granted in these trying economic times, which are trying for us all. However, now is not the time to randomly attack our school system fallaciously. We all need to pull together and make rational decisions in order to vote responsibly so that Massapequa can stay the course in these times of uncertainty. But most importantly, we all need to vote on May 17.