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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

This year you can expect to see the Freedom Schooner Amistad, Connecticut’s flagship, tied up on the Western Waterfront Pier at the Oyster Festival on Oct. 18 and 19. The ship is a Baltimore Clipper that is 129 feet in length and weighs 96 tons. Its home port is New Haven, Conn.

The tall ship visits ports worldwide, as an ambassador for friendship. It serves as a floating classroom, icon and monument to many souls that were broken or lost as the result of the transatlantic slave trade.

The original Amistad, which means friendship in Spanish, was made famous in 1839 when 53 African captives (men, women and children) transported from Havana revolted against their captors. The captives gained control of the ship under the leadership of Sengbe Pieh, later known as Joseph Cinque, who commanded the ship’s navigator to return them to Sierra Leone. Instead, the ship headed north, landing in Long Island, and was taken into custody by the United States Navy.

Diamond Fitness held its grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 6. Members of the Historic Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce came out to meet Wendy Goldstein, her staff and her re-invented gym at 138 South St.

Goldstein said she was touched by the warmth of the people who came into the gym to welcome her, even before the official opening. “People came in to say hello, saying they had heard that the gym had changed hands. It warms my heart,” she said.

Goldstein attended a chamber meeting and is now a member. Nassau County Legislator Donald McKenzie helped Goldstein cut the red ribbon as chamber members Walter Imperatore and Michele Browner cheered the opening along with staff members and friends.


Sports

Football season is here and the Oyster Bay-Bayville Generals  held their opening day games on Sept. 14. Here are the results:

5 & 6 Peanuts:

The Peanuts opened the season vs. the Seaford Broncos and came out on the losing end of a hard fought game. The Lil Generals opened the game on offense and quarterback Rodney Hill, Jr. marched the offense down the field and completed the drive with a touchdown pass to Francesco Allocca. Yes, the Peanuts have a potent air attack with Hill Jr. going two for two for 26 yards. The defense played strong with Allocca leading the team in tackles with help on the defensive line from first-year players Dean Wolfe and Anthony Pelchuck.  

Former football coach and NFL player Bill Curry recently brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and history to a wide audience of student-athletes and coaches at Hofstra University for a lesson on diversity, tolerance and respect in high school athletics.

 

Director of the NYS PHSAA Sportsmanship Committee and Manhasset High School Athletic Director Jim Amen Jr. established the summit and invited Curry as keynote speaker.

Amen Jr. and Section VIII Executive Director Nina Van Erk introduced Curry to a crowd representing more than 37 local high schools.


Calendar

Movie: Godzilla

Thursday, Sept. 25

Bayville Car Show

Friday, Sept. 26

Plein Art Competition

Saturday, Sept. 27



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com