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Syosset to Decide on School Budget Tuesday

Voters will consider the $192 million budget and vote for three school board positions.

Syosset voters head to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate on a for 2011-12 and to

The spending plan, which was adopted by the board on , includes a 1.86 percent increase, with a tax levy increase of 2.69 percent.

Syosset teachers and administrators on January 24 which will reportedly save the District $3.3 million. The District has stated that if the budget is voted down, however, that the contract freeze employees had agreed to would go back in the budget.

The School Board has said it would adopt a contingency budget should the budget fail, and Superintendent Carole Hankin had this to say at the budget meeting: "We would have to at that point look at program changes and personnel changes."

Should voters defeat the budget, however, the district does have the option of offering a revised budget to voters for a revote, which would be held on the third Tuesday in June.

There are three residents up for and all are running unopposed. Dr. Michael Cohen and April Neuendorf are both seeking re-election to their third term on the board, while Laura Schlesinger is the newcomer. Each term lasts three years.

The polls open Tuesday at 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. at Syosset elementary schools.

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The Results

Be sure to check Syosset Patch Tuesday evening for updates, and check back at night for the results of the vote. We’ll have full coverage as soon as the information is available.

Seymour Osset May 18, 2011 at 02:42 AM
To MomOf2: Why even raise an eyebrow with a thinly veiled stacking of the deck? Why couldn't Curriculum Night or Great American Bake Sale be held on any other night, even the night before? It's flat-out electioneering to have such events on the night of a budget vote. If it influences a single vote, it's not right. It's an abuse of position.
Momof2 May 18, 2011 at 02:48 AM
Do you really think anyone is going to suddenly have a change of heart and base their decision on a cookie? People go into the school with the intention to vote one way or the other. No cookie or art project is going to suddenly sway them to a different view, certainly not when their taxes are affected. Let's give people a little more credit than that. (And by the way, it is not legally electioneering to hold an event at a voting location. They are not distributing materials or speaking out to influence voters one way or the other. That would be electioneering, so no, it is absolutely not "flat out electioneering.")
anonymous May 18, 2011 at 02:55 AM
No, but having two destinations in one definitely increases the chances of the population most likely to vote yes showing up to vote yes. The votes aren't changed; what is changed is the distribution of the voters
Seymour Osset May 18, 2011 at 02:55 AM
Do you really know, MomOf2? What insight do you have that I wouldn't? Again, the fact that there's even a hint of electioneering makes it a shady practice. And, no, I don't give "people" more credit than having a change of heart over a cookie. Do you? That's exactly why there should be no question that the vote took place on genuinely neutral terms.
Seymour Osset May 18, 2011 at 03:01 AM
Thank you. Excellent point. The community should be there to vote, not just to fulfill a parental obligation and then vote because the booth just happens to be there. It's a subtle form of coercion, regardless of which decision the voter makes.
suzie May 18, 2011 at 03:08 AM
WTG voters for passing the vote. Now everyone move on
Momof2 May 18, 2011 at 03:13 AM
Well, Seymour, you must just be smarter than the rest of the community, not falling for their evil cookie selling tactics. If the people of Syosset are that easily swayed then perhaps you are suggesting they shouldn't be allowed to vote? Maybe just you could vote for all of us. Perhaps you could make up some kind of a screening process to determine who in your opinion is worthy of this responsibility. Really? Come on. As far as a fundraiser for charity taking place when a district is anticipating a large turnout, that's intelligent planning. It's not like "free brownie with Yes vote." Really, is the artwork SO amazing that people will change their minds? Is the chorus singing by the door that phenomenal? It seems that nothing would change your mind, right? You really have no faith in the intelligence of the people in your community. What a burden it must be. So sad. Everyone gets one vote, and whether or not they choose to use it is their business. You may just have to accept that more people are for the budget than against it.
Momof2 May 18, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Must've been some seriously good cookies....
Lou May 18, 2011 at 03:20 AM
Why was there a posting on the district website that Nassau county police were allowing parking on Woodbury Rd during the hours of 7-9:30pm for voters. Why not allow it all day?
Joe May 18, 2011 at 03:22 AM
The election was rigged...how else do you explain this insanity?
Howie May 18, 2011 at 03:25 AM
How simple can you be? How many times can it be explained to you? Of course everyone gets 1 vote and they can choose what they want. But curriculum nightis all about stuffing the building with what the consider to be their favorable demographic--the families with schoolage children that are most likely to vote yes. They stuffed ten schools with 6 grades worth kids all with captive parents to vote YES for them. Now tell me that this doesn't taint the count. Someone earlier suggested that next year in lieu of curriculum night give out a free danish and have a big band concert, which will most likely attract a senior citizen demographic. Seniors typically have no schoolage children and might be watch the dollar a little more so they tend to vote NO. Do you think that out of a sense of fair play the district will swithup and let the seniors have their "night" next year? NO I didn't think so either. So please do not tell us any more that these events are not calculated to sway the vote.
Mentsh May 18, 2011 at 03:32 AM
Sensible people who care about education?
Seymour Osset May 18, 2011 at 03:38 AM
Geez, Lady, I hope you're not teaching in the Syosset District. Your comprehension of simple logic is seriously lacking.
Joe May 18, 2011 at 03:40 AM
Or idiots with allot of money who don't care.
Seymour Osset May 18, 2011 at 03:41 AM
People with more money than sense?
Joe May 18, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Want to thank the Patch for the one sided reporting they did the last few month. Great job..
Howie May 18, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Sheep led to slaughter
Howie May 18, 2011 at 03:45 AM
Holding up all of the negative stuff until a few hours before polls closed, that was a real nice touch. I guess that was what we were staying tuned for, proof positive that you were attached to Hankin's campaign.
Steven Nicastro (Editor) May 18, 2011 at 03:48 AM
We were waiting to hear back from the NYS Department of Education and the Administration. You don't publish information based on comments and documents without checking the facts. We had a number of questions for both of them and gave them the opportunity and plently of time to respond, but unfortunately they did not get back to us.
Seymour Osset May 18, 2011 at 03:58 AM
Removing my very fair comment to your post does not add to the credibility of the Patch.
John May 18, 2011 at 04:00 AM
So now we're blaming Patch for all our problems? Last time I checked, Syosset Patch was the only news source in the area to have done anything on this.
Seymour Osset May 18, 2011 at 04:05 AM
Nobody blamed Patch. Mr. Nicastro posted a comment; I replied that, in my opinion, the Patch dropped the ball by failing to pursue the answers to the questions. The fact that it was one of the few outlets covering the story makes the responsibility to pursue the truth even larger. The Patch chose to wait instead of pursue, and the administration stonewalled and bullied and got their way. The least Patch could do is report that instead of offering up an excuse.
Jim C May 18, 2011 at 04:12 AM
I think you're asking a lot from a local community newspaper. This is not the New York Times, and from what I've seen it looks like this guy has his hands full. Having said that, I think Patch is a great asset to our community, a great outlet for these discussions. If you want answers, why didn't people in the community step up and coordinate? Why didn't you take on these issues yourselves, speak out at the meetings? Organize protests? Make a group and go to the governor? You're just looking at another place to point the finger, and it's getting old.
Howie May 18, 2011 at 04:18 AM
Yeah we all saw how nicely Hankin treated Chris at the meeting and how well she answered his questions. And of course she was so accomodating to Peter setting up that meeting just to cancel at the last minute. That challenge to answer all comers just didn't hold up very well did it?
Seymour Osset May 18, 2011 at 04:21 AM
Jim: Agreed, it is a lot to ask from a local community newspaper. Having said that, I think it's grossly unfair to brush this off as fingerpointing. It's the responsibility of the district to respond in a timely and informative manner to questions raised at BOE meetings. What's getting old is the manipulative and shady dealings of the Superintendent. This is just another example.
Howie May 18, 2011 at 04:24 AM
You printed virtually everything that Hankin said word for word allowing her to get her message out without corroborating any of it. Many of her claims were later found to be leading and outright false. You didn't wait to make sure that her message was right. Yet you waited until it was too late for it to do any good to release the negative information that you had at your disposal about her. Why is it that the negative facts need to be checked forever but the pro facts don't need to be checked at all?
Seymour Osset May 18, 2011 at 04:33 AM
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask you to restore my original comment.
Grifhunter May 18, 2011 at 06:16 AM
The fall out from this fiasco has to be a change in the way these elections are run. Foremost, the polls have to be moved out of the schools. At Village school, the usual room where the voting machines are placed for regular elections was filled with kids art displays. The lobby contained a TV monitor that crowed what a great school it is and more kid displays are placed around it. The room where you vote was nowhere near the entrance, and was unmarked as to location in the building. There was no notice on the outside of the school as to the existence of polling. It is my fairly observed opinion that casual citizens who arrived would, after having to struggle to park, would see a big time school program night, no evidence of an election and simply leave. You school drones should be proud.
rena damon May 18, 2011 at 11:27 AM
For informational purposes: The voting room at Village is the same room the children use for daily lunch as well as other programs. The gym was used for curriculum night displays and it is the same room used for Science Fair projects., State Fair projects, etc. Every political election I have voted in during my time in Syosset has been in the same room at Village. The TV monitor/video has been in the lobby for weeks, which is what I hear other schools in the district also do (I can't comment specifically about any 'legality of that for voting night' b/c I am not an expert in that information.) At Village there was at least one yellow poster outside the school (on the path leading from the right-side parking lot) noting that electioneering was banned. The children's ballot boxes for field day activity voting were in the same room as the voting booths, though on the opposite side of the room. There was also a woman outside the front door of the school (who was there during the day as well) who was affiliated with the voting and could tell people where to vote. (Certainly, it was easier to find her/see her when there was no crowd.)
Frankie May 18, 2011 at 04:59 PM
What isn't understood is that even if the budget was voted down the same amount of increase would occur. So really what purpose would voting against the budget have? Except to lay off teachers and staff and possibly lose programs for the children. Property values in the area are high because of the school. And have you looked at the tax rate of some of the other areas on Long Island?

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