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Lowest Budget Increase In 15 Years

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Van Cott gave the final budget presentation last Tuesday at the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education meeting. The final budget number of $54,578,478 was $1,074,367 more than the 2013-14 budget of $53,504,111. It is an increase of 2.01 percent, which is the lowest expenditure budget increase in at least 15 years.

The funding sources that make up the proposed budget are property taxes and the STAR program, State Aid, local revenue and the appropriated fund balance.

“The 2014-15 budget maintains all programs and services to students and $1 million will be returned to taxpayers to assist with the 2014-15 levy,” said Van Cott. “The budget complies with Oyster Bay-East Norwich tax levy limit as mandated by New York State.”

There will be continued use of the capital reserve to fund needed capital improvement projects and equipment without levying additional taxes. Some of the improvement projects in the district’s five year plan include tennis court reconstruction at the high school at a cost of $650,000, foam roof repairs and electrical panel installation at the high school at a total cost of $265,000 and ceiling replacement and exterior masonry work at the James Vernon school at a total cost of $260,000. The total cost estimate for the five year plan is $1,515,000.

Many projects have been funded in recent years through continued use of the capital reserve to fund needed capital improvement projects.

Members of the PTA Council, including OBEN Elementary Co-President, Jennifer Scamell, Alexandria Ross and PTSA member, Margaret Howes, said they were all in favor of the proposed 2014-15 budget.

If the budget does not pass and the district is forced to go on a contingency budget, an additional one million dollars would have to be cut, which may include reductions in co-curricular programs, athletic programs, needed equipment and certified and non-certified staff.  Additionally, by state mandate all community and non-community groups would have to be charged for the use of the facilities under a contingency budget.

All the budget information can be found on the school website at www.obenschools.org.

The budget vote will take place on May 20 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Oyster Bay High School.

News

Some people deserve a long obituary: in a way, it is a tribute to the number of people’s lives they have touched, so for Dottie Brandt, it is a given. A long line of mourners stretched down the street from the Francis P. DeVine Funeral Home, in Oyster Bay, where Dorothy R. Brandt, known to everyone as “Dottie,” was laid to rest, soon after her death on Friday, Sept. 12.

Dottie was a beautiful woman that age couldn’t change. When your warmth, spirit and love come from the inside, it keeps the outside looking bright and fresh. Dottie was always smiling, full of energy and always willing to help people.

The music was rocking and everybody was dancing on Friday, Oct. 3 in the St. Dominic High School gymnasium as the school hosted its Fall Ball dance. The event included gregarious kids from St. Dominic’s dancing and socializing with 20 disadvantaged children from St. Christopher-Ottilie Family of Services in Sea Cliff.

“St. Dom’s is very active with St. Christopher-Ottilie during the school year,” said Janice Seaman, who was the party coordinator and one of many volunteers at the dance, which ran from 7 to 10 p.m. “This was the first time, though, that St. Dom’s invited the kids from St. Christopher-Ottilie to their school for a dance and it is a great way to bring some normalcy into these children’s lives and show them what a school function is like.”


Sports

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.

The Diane Whipple Foundation with the cooperation of Manhasset PAL, Manhasset School District and St. Mary’s High School Athletic program has announced a premier College Division I Women’s Lacrosse Scrimmage day on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Competing in this great event will be Columbia, Fairfield, Michigan, Sacred Heart, Stonybrook, UCONN, UMASS, and USC.


Calendar

That’s a Smash!

Wednesday, Oct. 15

East Woods Open House

Friday, Oct. 17

 Oyster Festival

Weekend, Oct. 18, 19



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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