6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday at Kings Park High School back gymnasium.
The district proposes a $92,168,700 budget for 2018-19, a 4.09 percent increase from $88,548,072. The tax levy would increase by 2.73 percent, from $67,801,784 to $69,653,384.
This increase is equal to the state’s 2.73 percent tax cap limit, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. School taxes on an average single family home would be $8,762.72 a 2.73 increase from $8,529.85.
The proposed budget calls for teachers to get a 1.3 percent contractual raise and a 2.76 average step increase. It also calls for restoration of a library media position at the intermediate school to full time, and is restoring an elementary art club position. The district would add a research course at the high school, which is the second year of the Advanced Placement Capstone program that was added this year.
Incumbent Kevin Johnston and Incumbent Diane Nally as well as challenger Darryl Valinchus are running for two at-large seats. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Johnston has lived in the district for 31 years. He is a student-teacher supervisor for SUNY Oneonta. His wife is an educator in the Farmingdale district. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and a master’s degree in liberal arts and sciences from SUNY Stony Brook. He has served on the Kings Park board since 2015 and is president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, chairperson of the Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee, a member of the Knights of Columbus, treasurer of the Kings Park Education Foundation, a lector at St. Joseph’s Church, community liaison for St. Catherine’s Medical Center Advisory Board and a member of the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce. His two children are both graduates of the district.
ISSUES: School safety is among the most important issues facing the district, he said. “As a trustee, I listened and responded to the concerns of students, parents and community concerning measures to insure the protection of students and staff,” he said. He also said he is committing to maintaining a high quality of education for students including advocating for smaller class sizes and retaining a strong faculty, administrative and support staff. He supports offering a wide variety of college level courses to students as well as clubs, sports, activities and other programs such as music and art. “Other important issues such as the implementation of the recently passed bond referendum, working within the tax cap and reviewing . . . policies are among my priorities,” he said.
BACKGROUND: Nally, 63, has lived in the district for 58 years. She retired from St. Joseph’s School of Religion where she worked as the assistant director of religious education. She has three children employed in school districts, including Kings Park, Northport and Half Hollow Hills. She is a graduate of the local high school and Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School. She serves as vice president of the Board of Education and is a member of the school district audit committee. She has served on the board since 2012. Her children graduated from the local schools.
ISSUES: School safety is among the most important issues facing the district, Nally said. She said the district and the superintendent “are committed to continuing to work with the Suffolk County Police Department and the community to implement additional safety measures to protect our students and staff,” she said, adding that there wasn’t any funding in the state budget this year for school safety and “I feel we need to lobby for funding in the future.”
BACKGROUND: Valinchus, 51, has lived in the district for 15 years. He is a retired NYPD Sergeant and has served in several roles on the Kings Park Youth including president and vice president. He has three sons, two who have graduated from the local schools and one who is in the class of 2020.
ISSUES: The most important issue facing the district concerns school security, he said. “My experiences in law enforcement allow me to understand clearly the different types of situations our security and faculty need to be prepared for,” he said, adding he will be able to us his law enforcement knowledge and work with the district’s security resource officer and the board to bring about changes that are “not only fiscally feasible but can be completed in a timely fashion.”