7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Medford Elementary School, Tremont Elementary School, Eagle Elementary School, South Ocean Middle School and Saxton Middle School.
The district proposes a $177,333,831 budget for 2016-17, a 2.46 percent increase over the current $173,068,899. The tax levy would increase by 1.51 percent, from $103,563,276 to $105,131,048.
This increase is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 2.4 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family home would increase by 2.82 percent, from $7,127.46 to $7,328.20.
The proposed budget includes an average step increase for teachers of 2.11 percent, but no salary increase. It would add 10 teachers, one administrator, five clerical workers and two technical support positions.
A proposition asks voters to authorize spending $5 million from a capital-reserve fund to recoat roofs at seven schools and replace windows at Medford Elementary School.
- District website:
Incumbent Thomas P. Donofrio and candidates Teresa A. Baldinucci, Clayton Baldwin III and David M. Isselbacher are running for two at-large seats. Terms are three years.
Thomas P. Donofrio
BACKGROUND: Donofrio, 55, has lived in the district for 30 years. He was first elected to the school board in 2007 and currently is president. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from Dowling College in Oakdale and works as a marketing manager for Central Semiconductor in Hauppauge. Donofrio has three children who attended district schools.
ISSUES: Donofrio said his tenure on the board would be invaluable in serving another term. “I believe my nine years of board of education experience will greatly help our school district and community,” he said. Donofrio said he wants to continue the work the board has done on the district’s finances. “We’ve been working very diligently to put the district into a solid financial position, and we’ve accomplished that by re-reviewing contracts, renegotiating contracts and doing debt consolidation,” he said. “We’ve brought our Moody’s rating up so that were able to borrow at a lower percentage rate, and that saved the district millions of dollars.”
Teresa A. Baldinucci
BACKGROUND: Baldinucci, 52, has lived in the district for 12 years. She is the owner of an eBay store, and she previously served as the budget director and purchasing agent for the Village of Freeport. She studied performing arts management and voice at Shenandoah University Conservatory, and attended Baruch College and studied music at Suffolk County Community College in Selden. She is a founder of the Patchogue-Medford Parents Against Common Core and is a member of the board of education’s legislative and finance committee. She has four children, three of whom attend district schools.
ISSUES: Baldinucci says the most important issue facing the district is what she called “the developmental inappropriateness of Common Core and the corporate attempt to take over public education.” She said she wants to “ensure … that the dignity of all of our students is addressed by focusing on the whole child in their education while also addressing the cultural diversity of our community.” Baldinucci said her experience as a municipal budget official and contracts analyst would assist the district in being “fiscally responsible.”
Clayton Baldwin III
BACKGROUND: Baldwin, 48, has lived in the district for 16 years. He has an associate degree in business and a bachelor’s degree in communications, both from St. John’s University. He is a salesperson at Bohemia-based Wohl Associates, which sells machinery. Baldwin is active in the Barton Elementary School and Saxton Middle School PTAs, and was an executive board member of the North Patchogue Medford Youth Athletic Club. He has two children in district schools.
ISSUES: Baldwin said that as a parent of two children who have many years left in district schools, “I can bring my real world experience to the board.” He said his experience as a community member active in athletics and the schools would help him to be readily available to hear parents’ concerns. Baldwin also said there needed to be increased communication between the district and parents. “We need to have more involvement within our community and have open communication between the schools and families,” he said.
David M. Isselbacher
BACKGROUND: Isselbacher, 43, has lived in the district for 38 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from Ithaca College. Isselbacher works as a mortgage broker for Interstate Home Loan Center in Melville and coaches youth wrestling and soccer. A district PTA member, he has four children, two of whom are currently in district schools
ISSUES: Isselbacher said, “The problem with my district is the belief that one problem is more important than another, or that one voice is more important than another.” He said he wanted to “facilitate communication between teachers and parents and do what’s in the best interest of the children.” His recent experiences chaperoning PTA trips and volunteering as a wrestling and soccer coach, he said, have helped him create “a deeper bond with the students and faculty.” Isselbacher said: “An investment in quality education is a long-term investment into the future of a strong community.”