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Kevin Dunn Steps Down Rendering Race Uncontested

Herricks board becomes two-man race

At the outset of the Herricks School Board “Meet the Candidates Night” organizer of the event Parent Teacher Association Co-President Judi Olson made the following announcement from Kevin Dunn:

“Unfortunately, I have decided not to run for the trustee position on the Herricks School Board.  Due to some minor health issues, I cannot continue.  I wish Nancy and Brian the best of luck in the challenges in the upcoming school year and to continue the educational opportunities for our children.  Thank you.”

Herricks Assistant Superintendent for Business Helen Costigan then said, “This is to let everybody know the procedure, when we have a candidate who withdraws after the deadline.  The law says we need to extend the application for trustee, which we have done until May 8.  Luckily, we were able to stop the machines from being delivered today and Nassau County will hold off until we contact them.”

Co-president Olson then introduced Herricks Superintendent Dr. Jack Bierwirth who said, “Even though, by law, the budget has been set if you have any questions, Helen Costigan and I are here all day long, in this building.  Just give us a call and we will be happy to answer those questions to the best of our ability.”

He then addressed the 2 percent tax cap.  Bierwirth said, “The tax cap the governor keeps giving press conferences about saying it is a 2 percent tax cap. is not really a 2 percen tax cap.  It is 2 percent or whatever is the calculation.  For us, this year, for Herricks it was just under 2.9 percent and the reason it is 2.9 percent rather than 2 percent is very simple.   The state calculated that our real property, which they describe as bricks and mortar, grew by 1 percent.  I have no idea where that is but our tax cap, for this year, is 2.9 percent.

“There is a logic to that part of the tax cap because if you are in a district upstate with a great deal of open space and somebody came in and built new housing or built a new factory then the tax base would expand and the cap could expand with it as a result of the building.

“But for us and a few others in Nassau County that grew by a percent nobody knows how the state came up with that figure, but that is our figure.  The budget was tough, but it will get tougher in future years.”

“It has nothing to do with assessed values.”

At that point both Dr. Bierwirth and Helen Costigan left the meeting.

The meeting was then turned over to the candidates.  The first candidate was Nancy Feinstein.

Candidate Nancy Feinstein

Feinstein said,  “I grew up in West Hempstead and have lived in this district for 18 years and have been involved in the PTA and other activities for about 10 of those years.

“I have three kids, one in grade 10, one in eighth and one in sixth and they are involved in just about every activity the district has to offer. 

“After attending Adelphi, I then went to the University of Maryland where I met my husband, and received my accounting and business administration degree.

“I worked at an accounting firm in Great Neck.  From there I worked at a start-up financial reporting firm and eventually became the vice president of operations with the responsibility of both hiring and firing, setting up payroll and 401K accounts.  I also did long-term planning and contract negotiations. 

“I retired from that position about five years ago and every since I have been working for the Herricks PTA, eventually being appointed to the PTA Council where I helped to initiate early budget discussions.  I am a member of the Art, Music and Athletic Boosters and have been on the hiring nominating committee and budget committee in the district.

“I feel that I have been in enough executive positions in the district, I am very visible and people call me all the time, so right now I feel that I am in a good spot to run for this trustee position.”

Candidate Brian Hassan

Hassan said, “I have lived in this district for approximately 35 years since I grew up here. 

“We have three children.  A son in grade 11, a daughter in ninth grade and a daughter in the fifth grade at Searingtown School.   I have been involved in the district as a coach for the Herricks Little League as a manager and eventually on the board of the Albertson-Herricks Little League during the 15 years my children were playing sports.

“I am presently a vice-president of the Herricks Athletic Boosters and I am also a trustee on the Herricks Community Fund.

“I think it was a good time for me to put my name into the hat.  I’ll be honest if Peter and Rich were not stepping down, I probably would not be doing it.  But, I felt that the time was right.  I have a philosophy in life that you should be involved and give back to the community.  Also, if you want to have a say, you have to step up and be involved.  I don’t think you should criticize anyone else if you are not willing to step up and take responsibility other than just criticize.

“I am an electrical engineer.  I graduated from Chaminade and went to Brooklyn Poly Technical and at that time went to work for LILCO and the companies have changed from KeySpan to National Grid and I have been there for the last 27 years.

“My responsibilities include handling all the hospitals and nursing homes from one end of the Island to the other.

“Further, I was instrumental, three years ago, in getting the district a cost savings plan by converting all of the buildings to gas and it has paid off.

Questions were asked from both the PTA and the moderator but perhaps the most accurate statement was made by a member of the audience who said, “One thing is sure, on May 15 you are both going to be elected to the Herricks school board.”