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Long IslandEducation

Eastport-South Manor

BUDGET

SPENDING $96,551,702, a 3.26 percent increase from the current $93,502,384.

TAX LEVY 2.75 percent increase, from $54,191,936 to $55,679,957. This is equal to the district’s 2.75 percent tax-cap limit. However, the cost of Proposition 2 regarding school security, if approved, would raise the tax levy to $56,192,368, a 3.69 percent increase exceeding the district’s cap. A 60 percent supermajority of those voting is required for both the budget and Proposition 2 to pass. If Proposition 2 does not pass, only a simple majority vote is required to approve the budget.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes an average 1.99 percent step increase. The proposed budget funds hiring of three additional elementary-level teachers, as well as one psychology teacher and one guidance counselor. The district plans to decrease class sizes and restore late buses. District officials said the spending plan also utilizes 2018-19 unappropriated fund balance to maintain programs.

PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 2 seeks authorization for the school board to hire armed security guards for schools at a cost of $512,411, increasing the proposed budget to a total of $97,064,113. Both the proposed budget and Proposition 2 must be approved by a 60 percent supermajority of those voting for both to pass. Approval of the proposition causes the tax-levy to exceed the district’s 2.75 percent tax-cap limit.

WHEN | WHERE

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Eastport-South Manor Junior-Senior High School. www.esmonline.org

CANDIDATES

Incumbent Marie Brown and Michael R. Byrnes, Francesco G. Ferraro, Donald Fox, Tara Mazovec, Allison McGovern and Dennis Pastor are vying for three seats, elected at-large. Incumbents Karen Kesnig and Nicholas Vero are not seeking re-election. Terms are three years.

Marie Brown

BACKGROUND Brown, 56, of Manorville, has lived in the district for 21 years and is a senior office assistant in another school system. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Iona College. She is an officer of the Eastport-South Manor Parent Teacher Student Organization for the junior and senior high school, and sports manager for the Eastport-South Manor Athletic Booster Club. She has been a volunteer for 17 years for various school and community groups. Brown’s two children graduated from district schools. She is seeking her fourth three-year term.

KEY ISSUE “The most important issue is making sure we maintain programs and continue to offer as many opportunities for our students … and keeping our students safe. It’s important for me to keep programs and a well-balanced education for our students, obviously, and also to maintain a safe environment for all.”

Michael R. Byrnes

BACKGROUND Byrnes, 47, of Manor Park, is a retired New York Police Department first grade detective. He graduated from Longwood High School in 1989 and has lived in the Eastport-South Manor district for 20 years. Byrnes is a former member of the Brooklyn North Detective Club and was an alternate delegate of the Detectives’ Endowment Association. He coached his son’s baseball team and his daughter’s soccer team. He has one child attending district schools, and two who graduated from district schools. This is his first run for school board.

KEY ISSUE “I’m a big proponent for armed guards in the school district. I think we need to work on class sizes in the district. I think we need to get back to the family mentality and doing it for the children and not running it exclusively as a business. … We also have to stay within our means as far as the budget.”

Francesco G. Ferraro

BACKGROUND Ferraro, 42, received an associate degree in applied science from Suffolk County Community College in 1997. A district resident for 33 years, he was a member of the Manorville Fire Department from 1995 to 1999. He has three children attending Eastport-South Manor schools. This is Ferraro’s first run for school board.

KEY ISSUE Ferraro, on an information form returned to Newsday, listed balancing the budget and special education programs as priorities. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Donald Fox

BACKGROUND Fox, 40, of Manorville, has lived in the Eastport-South Manor district for nine years. He is a biology teacher in the East Hampton school district. Fox received a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology from LIU Southampton in 2002 and a master’s degree in education and technology from LIU Post in 2007. He has two children attending district schools. This is his first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE “First of all, child safety … It’s extremely important for us to look at our options in terms of increasing our safety. Also, to explore the issue of possibly adding armed security to our district as well. The other issue that I think is pretty important is just bringing stability to our district … moving this district forward and moving in the right direction.”

Tara Mazovec

BACKGROUND Mazovec, 42, of South Manor, has lived in the district for 17 years and is manager of technology literacy programs at Stony Brook University. A graduate of Hampton Bays High School, Mazovec received a bachelor’s degree in deaf education and psychology from Flagler College in Florida and a master’s degree in instructional technology from LIU Post. She has three children in district schools. This is her second run for the school board; she ran unsuccessfully last year.

KEY ISSUE The most important issues facing the district are “school safety and fiscal responsibility, staying within our budget and our means. And improving student-teacher contacts … and providing the best educational environment for our students and staying within the tax cap.” She said she favors “a well-rounded education, which includes academics, arts, music and sports, within a fiscally responsible budget.”

Allison McGovern

BACKGROUND McGovern, 42, of Manor Park, is an archaeologist employed by an engineering company and has lived in the district for more than seven years. She received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology in 1999 from Hunter College, a master’s degree in anthropology in 2008 from Syracuse University and a PhD in anthropology in 2015 from the CUNY Graduate Center. McGovern is a member of the Suffolk County Parks Historic Trust Committee, the New York Archaeological Council, Professional Archaeologists of New York City and the Society for Historical Archaeology. She has two children attending district schools. This is McGovern’s first run for the board.

KEY ISSUE “I’m really interested in making sure we provide a high-quality education and we’re accountable for making fiscally responsible decisions. … I’d like to see us build our reserves and not let that impact our children’s education.”

Dennis Pastor

BACKGROUND Pastor, 44, of Manor Park, is an information technology director and has lived in the district for 34 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in history in 2004 from Stony Brook University. Pastor previously served for four years in the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division and for about six years with the New York Army National Guard’s 69th Infantry Division. He has a child entering kindergarten this fall. This is his first run for school board.

KEY ISSUE “The most important thing currently right now is the armed guards inside the school. It’s something that I’m not for. I don’t know if I can necessarily agree with the armed guards being the solution to the problem of violence in the schools.” Pastor underscored “securing buildings with technology and ensuring accountability.”

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