VOTING

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Lindell Elementary School, East Elementary School, Long Beach Middle School, Point Lookout-Lido Fire Department firehouse and 225 W. Park Ave.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $135,326,640 budget for 2017-18, a 0.15 percent decrease from the current $135,523,692. The tax levy would increase 1.99 percent, from $97,145,689 to $99,078,437.

This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority will be required to approve the budget.

School taxes on the average single-family house would increase 1.46 percent, from $6,432 to $6,526.

The proposed budget includes an average 0.5 percent salary increase and an average 1.6 percent step increase for teachers. It also would add the equivalent of 1.5 teacher positions.

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THE CANDIDATES

Incumbents Dennis Ryan and Maureen Vrona and candidate Lori Montgomery are running for two at-large seats. Terms are three years.

Lori Montgomery

BACKGROUND: Montgomery, 64, has lived in the district for 43 years. She earned an associate degree from Nassau Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Molloy College. She is a registered nurse and retired in 2015 from East Elementary School after a 32-year career as a school nurse. Montgomery’s three children graduated from district schools, and she has five grandchildren who attend district schools. She was a union representative for the classroom teachers association for 20 years until her retirement.

ISSUES: Montgomery said she’s “hoping to bring an apolitical viewpoint” to the school board. “I’m strictly for kids and community, devoid of political affiliations,” she said. Montgomery said that as a school nurse she witnessed “the increase of stresses our children face and how they have impacted their health and ability to learn.” Montgomery said, “As a school board trustee, I want to ensure our district’s commitment to social and emotional learning, which will better equip our students to handle the stresses they face and enable them to make healthy decisions.” Montgomery said she would help develop community internships and apprenticeships at the high school level.

Dennis Ryan

BACKGROUND: Ryan, 64, has lived in the district 40 years. He is a retired school administrator who last worked as assistant superintendent of schools for the Great Neck school district. Ryan has a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a doctorate from the University of Texas-Austin. He was elected to the school board in 2008 and served as its president from 2009 to 2011 and vice president from 2012 to 2014. He served on the finance committee at St. Mary’s R.C. Church in Long Beach.

ISSUES: Ryan said that as a board member his most important concern is “maintaining quality of the instructional program.” “It’s the single most important issue facing our district,” Ryan said. He continued, “A quality instructional program necessitates highly qualified teachers, administrators and support staff.” Ryan said if elected, he would support “the proper maintenance of our school buildings.”

Maureen Vrona

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BACKGROUND: Vrona, 59, has lived in the district for 18 years. She is an attorney who worked for 13 years specializing in education law, but is not currently practicing. Vrona has a bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany and a law degree from SUNY Buffalo. She was elected to the school board in 2014. Vrona has served on the budget, technology and other district committees. Her child attends a district school.

ISSUES: Vrona said, “I am the only candidate and the only sitting board member with a child currently in the district.” Vrona said having a child in a district school “keeps me more in touch with what’s going on in the buildings and with the staff.” For 10 years, she regularly attended board meetings and “advocated on behalf of the students all of the time,” Vrona said. She added that “the most important issue facing the district is to preserve programs offered to students in this era of tax caps.” She said: “Cutting programs which will connect students in a meaningful way to their education is the wrong way to balance a budget.”