VOTING

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Santapogue Elementary School and the administration building.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $101,955,305 budget for 2016-17, a 1.05 percent increase from the current $100,893,074. The local tax levy would increase by 0.03 percent, from $68,221,216 to $68,243,966.

This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family home would rise by 0.03 percent, from $7,222.60 to $7,225.05.

The budget calls for adding a math curriculum specialist and reinstating nine assistant coaching positions.

  • District website:

wbschools.org

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THE CANDIDATES

Incumbents Diane Klein, Dennis Kranz and Peter Scarlatos and candidates Raymond Cascio and Stephen T. Donnelly are running for three at-large seats. Terms are three years.

Raymond Cascio

BACKGROUND: Cascio, 50, is a retired NYPD detective who ran for the school board last year. He received a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Old Westbury, a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in social work from Stony Brook University. He serves as a youth soccer and basketball coach, an assistant Scoutmaster for a local Boy Scouts troop, and a volunteer at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church. He also has served as a PTA board member at Forest Avenue Elementary and West Babylon Junior High School. His two children attend district schools.

ISSUES: Cascio said he is running because he would like to increase oversight of the district’s finances. He notes the district spent money from its $30 million capital-improvement fund to upgrade the high school football field with artificial turf, but believes other infrastructure needs should have been prioritized, such as repairing aging common areas in the schools and improving parking-lot lighting for security reasons. “They went with the cosmetic changes instead of the essential repairs,” Cascio said. He said he also would focus on the district’s low-income students, who he said are often “underserved.”

Stephen T. Donnelly

BACKGROUND: Donnelly, 63, has lived in the district for 37 years, and previously served on the school board for nine years, until 2001. Donnelly is retired, having previously worked as a field service operations manager for Cablevision, which owns Newsday. He earned an associate degree at Farmingdale State College. He has two adult children who attended district schools.

ISSUES: Donnelly said his priority would be increasing communication between the schools and parents. He said he would like the district to upgrade its online parent portal that allows parents to view students’ progress reports. Donnelly said he would like for the portal to give parents access to their student’s grades on a more frequent basis. “In other districts parents can pretty much see the entire gradebook, so you can see exactly where the kid is, and whether they need extra help in some areas,” he said. He said he believes increased access to grades will allow parents to be more involved in helping their children achieve the “best possible student outcomes.”

Diane Klein

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BACKGROUND: Klein, 51, a teaching assistant in the Northport-East Northport district, is a lifelong resident of West Babylon. She has a bachelor’s degree in special education from Dowling College. Klein is vice president of the West Babylon Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary and a member of the West Babylon Alumni Foundation. Klein has served on the school board for the past nine years. She has two children who attended district schools.

ISSUES: Klein said the most important issue facing the district is “continuing to prepare a yearly budget” that does not force the district to exceed the state’s tax cap. She said the district’s finances will benefit from the state’s repeal this year of the “Gap Elimination Adjustment” — a practice in which the state reduced school-district funding to fill state funding shortfalls that had been caused by the recession. Klein said she will continue to push state lawmakers to help the district “obtain our fair share of state aid.”

Dennis Kranz

BACKGROUND: Kranz, 51, has lived in the district for 24 years. A retired NYPD lieutenant, he now works as a senior regional director for a security consulting company. Kranz took courses in criminal justice at Queens College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He was elected to the school board in 2013 and has three children who attended district schools.

ISSUES: Kranz said he is running for a second term to continue working on restoring student programs and clubs that had previously been cut. Kranz said over the past year and a half the district has brought back some of the junior high school sports programs and student clubs that had been previously cut due to funding shortfalls. “Slowly but surely we’ve been able to bring some programs back . . . and we’re looking at other areas we can bring back,” he said. Kranz called the programs essential to helping students succeed.

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Peter Scarlatos

BACKGROUND: Scarlatos, 47, is a retired New York City firefighter and a lifelong district resident. He has served on the board for the past six years. He coaches a travel youth baseball team, and is a former president of the West Babylon Little League. He also previously served as an FDNY battalion delegate. Scarlatos has two children attending a district school.

ISSUES: Scarlatos said he is running again because he would like to continue working with the board to prioritize school upgrades that are underway as part of the district’s capital improvement project. “We’re going from building to building and prioritizing the needs,” he said. Scarlatos said this year the district started renovating its aging school heating systems and has improved its athletic fields, which Scarlatos said “haven’t been worked on in a really long time.” The students “deserve” the improvements, he said.