TODAY'S PAPER
Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

BUDGET

SPENDING $204,140,059, a 2.17 percent increase from the current $199,808,099.

TAX LEVY 2.86 percent increase, from $159,106,027 to $163,655,341. This is within the district’s 2.89 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is required for approval.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes raises subject to contract negotiations. Adds four special education teaching positions.

PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 3 seeks authorization for the district to spend a total of $7.15 million, through a bond issue and use of existing capital reserve funds, for interior reconstruction and space reconfiguration, including auditorium and music suite renovations and improvements to ventilation, mechanical and electrical systems. Much of the work involves renovation of the Massapequa High School auditorium and replacement of seats and flooring in the Alfred G. Berner Middle School auditorium. Approval would authorize a $4.5 million bond issue and expenditure of $2.65 million in capital reserve funds. Approval of the proposition will not affect the current tax levy.

Proposition 5 seeks approval to expand the school board from five to seven members and would set a special election within 60 days, at a cost of $20,000 to $25,000, to fill those new seats. Approval of the proposition will not affect the tax levy.

WHEN | WHERE

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Massapequa High School and Fairfield, Lockhart and McKenna elementary schools. www.msd.k12.ny.us

CANDIDATES

Erik Gustafson, Cher Lepre, Michael McCann and Allison Steakin are running for two seats, elected at-large. Incumbent Tim Taylor is not seeking re-election. The top vote-getter receives a three-year-term and the second-highest vote-getter serves a one-year term created by the departure of Brian Butler.

Erik Gustafson

BACKGROUND Gustafson, 43, has lived in the district nearly 10 years. He is an environmental consultant for Louis Berger in Manhattan. Gustafson grew up in Sound Beach and graduated in 1994 from Rocky Point High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science from Springfield College in Massachusetts and a master’s degree in environmental waste management from Stony Brook University. Gustafson is the treasurer and a den leader for Cub Scout Pack 776 in Massapequa. For the last three years, he has been a coach for Massapequa Coast Little League Baseball. He is the McKenna Elementary School PTA representative to the Massapequa school board and serves on the school board’s buildings and grounds committee. Gustafson’s two children attend district public schools. This is his first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE “My intent is to advocate for the schools to get as much state aid as possible and to keep our district financially sound. I believe my professional experience as a manager of multimillion-dollar projects will prove useful to the district.”

Cher Lepre

BACKGROUND Lepre, 46, has lived in the district for 18 years. She is an administrative assistant for an internist in Amityville. Lepre grew up in Wheatley Heights and is a 1990 graduate of Half Hollow Hills High School West. She earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Hofstra University. Lepre is the second vice president of the district council of PTAs. She is the advancement chair for Boy Scout Troop 776 in Massapequa. At St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Massapequa, she is a volunteer catechist and teaches religion. Her three children attend district public schools. This is Lepre’s first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE "Ensuring an outstanding education for our students while recognizing how our financial decisions impact our taxpayers. My slogan is: Focused on what counts."

Michael McCann

BACKGROUND McCann, 39, has lived in the district for nine years. A Local 3 Union electrician, he grew up in North Merrick and graduated from Mepham High School in Bellmore in 1998. McCann earned an associate degree in labor studies from SUNY Empire State College. He attended Norwich University in Vermont but left in his junior year to start a Local 3 apprenticeship. McCann coaches baseball in the Massapequa Coast Little League and is a coach for Massapequa Youth Wrestling. He and his family are parishioners at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Massapequa. McCann’s two children attend district public schools. This is his first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE “To continue to provide all children with quality public education and to represent Massapequa with integrity and professionalism at all times.”

Allison Steakin

BACKGROUND Steakin, 41, was raised in the district and graduated in the Massapequa High School Class of 1996. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech pathology from New York University. Steakin lived in Manhattan from 1996 to 2007, when she and her family moved back into the district. From 2014 to 2016, she was a member of the Massapequa school superintendent’s roundtable, which sought to improve communication between the district and the community. Her three children attend district public schools, and she volunteers as parent advocate for families of children with special needs. This is her first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE “I believe every child should be provided with every opportunity to reach their full potential whether they are college-bound, pursuing a technical career or overcoming challenges to become a more independent member of society. As a board member, I would want to find ways to invest in programs that will enable all of our children to succeed while keeping the burden on the taxpayers as low as possible.”

Latest Long Island News