SPENDING $43,936,166, a 0.11 percent increase from the current $43,889,812.
TAX LEVY 1.27 percent increase, from $36,434,479 to $36,898,824. This is equal to the district's 1.27 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is required for approval.
TEACHER PAY / POSITIONS Includes a 0.75 percent contract and 3.0 percent step increase. Three full-time equivalent staff positions will be eliminated.
Proposition 2 seeks to use $3.6 million of the capital reserve for sections of roof replacement at the high school and the Edna L. Spear Elementary School. Approval of the proposition will not affect the tax levy.
WHEN | WHERE
6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School. www.portjeffschools.org
Four candidates are seeking three at-large seats. Incumbents Ryan Biedenkapp and Ellen Boehm face Randi Dewitt and Mia Farina. Kathleen Brennan is not seeking re-election. The two highest vote-getters will receive three-year terms; the third-highest vote-getter receives a one-year term created by the resignation last year of Adam Dewitt. Dewitt's seat is being filled by Biedenkapp.
BACKGROUND Biedenkapp, 43, works in medical sales. He earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Hartford and a master in business administration at Northwest Christian University. He runs autism awareness events with his wife, Heather Biedenkapp, through Team Parker for Autism Speaks. He has three children attending district schools. As the next-highest vote-getter, he was appointed last fall to fill out a term and is seeking his first full term.
KEY ISSUE "I want to be part of the discussions and planning the board will need to do as it streamlines over the next few years. Where do we prioritize, what does the community really value? We have a lot to consider and have to be aware of the right questions. We have clear fiscal responsibilities."
BACKGROUND Boehm, 61, is a retired teacher's assistant and former lab technician. She is a former PTA president and vice president and is vice president and treasurer of a paraprofessional group. She earned a medical lab technician associate degree at Suffolk County Community College. Her two children graduated from Port Jefferson. She has been on the board since 2012 and is seeking her third full term on the board.
KEY ISSUE "As the LIPA glide path continues," Boehm said, referring to the decrease in tax revenue from the lawsuit settlement regarding overassessment of the power plant, "we as a community and district will have to work together to identify programs that hold value for our students. Honest, open dialogue is necessary so all stakeholders are part of the process." She hopes to continue the work started by the current board, which "works well together and holds respectful conversations."
BACKGROUND Dewitt, 43, is a teacher at Mount Sinai Elementary School. A Port Jefferson high school graduate, she earned a bachelor's degree in speech pathology and audiology from Loyola University and a master's of education at Dowling College. She is a member of the PTA. Her two children attend district schools. Her husband, Adam DeWitt, is principal of Longwood Junior High School and a former member of the Port Jefferson school board.
KEY ISSUE Dewitt wants to help make decisions as the district deals with challenges facing the loss of revenue from the closing of the power plant and notes her educational background will help in making student needs a priority. "My purpose is to try and preserve programs we have now with the least amount of impact on students. We're in a unique situation. For right now, preservation is important for our district."
BACKGROUND Farina, 46, is a detective with the NYPD. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology from Mercy College. She was an Equal Employment Opportunity liaison for 10 years with the police department, is a member of the Special Education PTA chapter in Port Jefferson and a member of the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America. Apraxia is a neurological speech disorder that affects a child’s ability to clearly produce syllables and words. She has a child in first grade in the district.
KEY ISSUE "My main concern is the children and that their education doesn't fall behind because of the taxes. We need to find a way to make things work, perhaps merge things and work together to keep programs going." She would like to see a dual-language program start in elementary school. "Let's find a way to make it fit. We don't want 'what are you getting rid of' to be the answer."