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Long IslandEducation

North Shore

SCHOOL VOTERS GUIDE

BUDGET

SPENDING $107,799,955, a 2.795 percent increase from the current $104,868,519. 

TAX LEVY 2.63 percent increase, from $86,086,546 to $88,350,730. This is within the state tax levy-cap limit of 2.7 percent, so a simply majority vote is needed for approval.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes a 1.5 percent raise and a 2.39 percent step increase. Three teacher assistant positions will be eliminated. The proposed budget adds 2.5 security personnel, a full-time health and wellness teacher and a full-time elementary counselor, as well as making the health and safety coordinator full time. It will also add electives, including coding for the middle school, journalism/writing and introduction to gaming/app building and robotics and cyber security. 

PROPOSITIONS

A proposition would reduce the transportation requirement for students in grades 6 through 12 from the existing 1 mile to 0.75 miles to increase ridership at no additional cost. 

WHEN | WHERE

7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the North Shore High School gym. www.northshoreschools.org

CANDIDATES

Five candidates are running for three at-large seats with three-year terms: incumbents Sara Jones, David Ludmar, Marianne Manning Russo and newcomers Jerry Romano and Anthony Stanco.

Sara Jones

BACKGROUND Sara Jones, 51, has lived in the district for 19 years. The owner of a catalog-based business, Jones was elected to the board in 2013 and serves as its president. She has a bachelor's degree from Princeton University. Two children attend district schools. She volunteers for several Sea Cliff groups, including fundraising for the library. Her spouse is employed by Roslyn schools.

KEY ISSUE "Our district faces difficult financial challenges beyond those facing all schools," Jones said. She cited LIPA's plant at Glenwood Landing and actions by other utilities as contributing factors. She wants to apply her skills in long-term planning, data analysis and budgeting. 

Marianne Manning Russo

BACKGROUND Manning Russo, 57, has lived in the district for 25 years. An attorney, she has been on the board of education for six years and has been a member of several parent-teacher organizations. She has a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from Fordham University. Two of her children graduated from district schools. 

KEY ISSUE Fiscal challenges presented by the shutdown of the Glenwood Landing power plant, decreased deductibility of real estate taxes and New York American Water's planned rate increases. "I will continue to pursue all available avenues to obtain relief from these economic burdens and to pressure the administration to carefully review its programs and expenditures to ascertain where savings can be achieved."

David Ludmar

BACKGROUND Ludmar, 46, has lived in the district for 14 years. He was elected to the board in 2016 and serves as its vice president. He is a textile and uniform accessories manufacturer with plants in New York and South Carolina. Ludmar has a bachelor's degree from Vassar College and an MBA from New York University. Ludmar is president of the Glenwood-Glen Head Civic Association and a leader of several other organizations. He has two children in district schools.

KEY ISSUE "The financial pressure and continued uncertainty surrounding our local LIPA plant and National Grid properties, some of which have been converted to fixed PILOTs despite an increase in output," Ludmar said. He said he would apply his business acumen to the district's finances. 

Jerry Romano

BACKGROUND Romano, 61, has lived in the district for 15 years. The television industry executive is also a member of a national Emmy Awards committee. He has a bachelor's degree from the New York Institute of Technology. His two sons graduated from North Shore schools.

KEY ISSUE Romano says he wants to raise the district's academic performance while reining in its high costs, compared with county averages. He wants to create metrics that address declining enrollment and review the district's $29 million cash surplus. Romano would apply his financial skills "so that the community is provided the best possible public educational institution" while working "toward returning $27 million or one-third of the school taxes to the property owners."

Anthony Stanco

BACKGROUND Stanco, 64, has lived in the district for 40 years. He is a former teacher and retired attorney and real estate investment and management professional. Stanco has a bachelor's degree from SUNY Geneseo and a law degree from West Virginia University. He has two children in district schools. 

KEY ISSUE Schools do not teach the subjects that would help students most, such as independent thinking, moral awareness, the "limits of the social contract" and "the reality of human conscience," Stanco said. There need to be open forums for community consensus and a discussion of values and morals within a public school administration.

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