7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Bayport-Blue Point High School.
The district proposes a $70,339,132 budget for 2017-18, a 1.49 percent increase from the current $69,306,466. The tax levy would rise by 2.56 percent, from $47,652,697 to $48,871,075.
This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority is required to approve the budget.
The district said it could not calculate the effect on taxes on an average single-family house because final assessed values are not yet certified.
The proposed budget includes a 1.73 percent combined step and salary increase for teachers.
A proposition asks voters whether the district should reduce its mileage limitation for busing high school students from the current level of 3 miles away to 2 miles away, at no cost to taxpayers. Another proposition would reduce the school’s mileage limitation for middle school students from 2 miles away to 1 1/2 miles away, at a cost of $180,000.
- District website: bbpschools.org
There are two by-seat positions open. Incumbent Daniene Byrne is being challenged by Andrea O’Neill. Incumbent Michael Miller is being challenged by Jane Burgess. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Burgess, 48, is a lifelong resident of the district. She previously served on the board of education from 2003 to 2012. She works in an administrative position at a plumbing company in Sayville. Burgess graduated from Bayport-Blue Point High School and also received certificates from BOCES in welding and as a certified nursing assistant. Two of her children have graduated from the district and another child attends the district middle school.
ISSUES: Burgess said the most important issue facing the district is transitioning to a new superintendent. “Unfortunately, there was no stability in our district under our last superintendent,” she said. “Our new superintendent must understand our district needs consistency and stability to thrive.” She said money being proposed to expand busing would be better spent on a social worker for students. She added that the district could expand prekindergarten to use space opened up by decreasing enrollment.
BACKGROUND: Byrne, 49, is pursuing a doctorate in technology and innovation at Stony Brook University. A district resident for 12 years, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, and received a master’s degree in public policy from Stony Brook University. She has served on the school board since 2014 and currently is its vice president. Her son attends a district school. She serves on the resolutions committee of the New York State School Board Association, is a past president and member of the Bayport-Blue Point Public Library and past PTA president for the school district.
ISSUES: Byrne said the most pressing issue the district faces is declining enrollment in the coming years, which was confirmed in a recently completed demographic study commissioned by the school board. Byrne said it’s too soon to embrace any recommendations. But, she said, “we have to be cognizant of meeting the students’ needs while keeping costs as low as possible.” She said the decline is projected to be gradual and will take place over several years.
BACKGROUND: Miller, 31, is director of physical education and athletics for the Bridgehampton school district. He has lived in the district for eight years. He received a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland and a master’s degree in health education from Cortland. He received a school district leader/school building leader administrative degree from Stony Brook University. Miller has served on the school board since 2014 and is currently the board president. His wife is a biology teacher in the Center Moriches school district.
ISSUES: Miller says he offers continuity, especially as the district has recently appointed a new school superintendent. “I want to continue on the successful path we’ve been on in Bayport-Blue Point,” he said. He said he also wants to see through spending on a $29 million bond referendum voters passed last year. With the district facing declining enrollment and some classes not full, he said the board will put a committee together to look at alternatives. Miller said he wants to explore offering universal prekindergarten in schools. “If it’s something we can fiscally do, it’s something that would be great for everyone,” he said.
BACKGROUND: O’Neill, 61, is an executive assistant at an insurance company. She previously served on the school board from 1999 to 2012. A graduate of the Massapequa school district, she studied at Farmingdale State College. She was a religion teacher and grade level coordinator at Our Lady of the Snow Church in Blue Point. Her two daughters attended district schools. Her husband is employed by the Patchogue-Medford school district.
ISSUES: O’Neill said the board will have to grapple with declining enrollment at the school district, although she said it’s too soon to give specifics on what can be done. She said she would be a voice for voters who don’t have kids in the district. “I’ll make sure their voice is heard,” she said. “To make sure it’s still a good school district that people can afford to stay in and want to move to.” She said it’s important to try and retain current teachers.