Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 28 May 2010 00:00
Residents of the Roslyn School District went to the polls last Tuesday, May 18 and delivered no surprises on the school and library budget votes, approving such documents by comfortable margins. Voters, too, said “yes” to a Proposition 3, one that would authorize the Board of Education to expend $3 million from the Capital Reserve Fund for a continuation of the district’s ongoing capital improvement program.
But there will be a new face on the Roslyn Board of Education. Bruce G. Valauri defeated an incumbent, Kim Hunter and another challenger, Elizabeth Kellogg to win a place on the BOE.
Valauri received 899 votes, placing him second to incumbent BOE member Stanley Stern, but ahead of Ms. Hunter (801 votes) and Ms. Kellogg (504 votes). Stern, who was elected to a fourth term, was the top vote getter with 916 votes.
This was the second election in a row that voters elected a new member to the BOE. Last year, Adam Haber defeated Ron Smith to win a place on the BOE.
“It’s truly a privilege and an honor to serve on the board,” Valauri told The Roslyn News. “There has been nothing more rewarding in my life than this opportunity. I look forward to it.”
Asked about a top priority, Valauri said producing fiscally responsible budgets would be his most immediate goal. “Without that, nothing else can happen,” he added.
As for the election itself, Valauri thanked his support team for doing an “incredible” job.
“A month ago, few people [in Roslyn] knew who I was,” he recalled. “I thank my support team for getting the word out.”
“I feel honored that the community re-elected me,” said Stanley Stern. “I hope to continue some of the good work I’ve participated in. Among my issues that I’d like to deal with it in the future is the continued improvement of the curriculum and the capital improvements we intend to make, plus the recognition of the fact that the budget must be presented in the most economical way possible. I am proud that we have been able to achieve one of the lowest budget raises in the county.”
Meanwhile, budget votes had no difficulty in being approved. The school budget passed, 1,237 to 566. The library budget was approved, 1,214 to 557. Proposition 3, similarly, was approved, 1,236 to 515.
This year’s budget that was earlier approved by the BOE amounted to $95,816,235, an increase in spending of 1.12 percent. The increase in the tax levy is projected to be 0.66 percent. School officials said the budget represented the second consecutive year that the budget increase has been held to 1 percent.
School officials also touted the contract agreement between the district and its teachers, one that they termed as “significant.” A zero percent increase in the teacher salary schedule in 2010-11 and a larger contribution by teachers for health insurance premiums are among the major provisions of the new agreement that school district officials claimed would yield savings in next year’s budget. In addition, the Board decided to reduce the tax levy by applying $1 million in reserve funds.
Additionally, school district officials said that Proposition 3 would not increase taxes additionally in the 2010-11 school year because these funds were previously set aside for this purpose.