TODAY'S PAPER
42° Good Afternoon
42° Good Afternoon

BUDGET

SPENDING $8,757,968, a 4.99 percent increase from the current $8,341,716.

TAX LEVY 4.11 percent increase, from $7,402,458 to $7,707,001. This is equal to the district's 4.11 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is required for approval.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes estimates that are subject to contract negotiations. The proposed budget also includes $60,000 earmarked for a robotics program as part of the district's science, technology, robotics, engineering, art and music — STREAM — effort and $30,000 toward a shared guidance counselor to meet a state mandate.

PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 3 seeks approval to move $200,000 from the unassigned fund balance and appropriations remaining from the 2018-2019 school year to the 2017 repair reserve fund, which was established for repairs to capital improvements or equipment that do not happen each year.

Proposition 4 asks for approval to spend up to $160,000 from the district's facility preservation and upgrade capital reserve fund for building renovations to turn an existing pre-K classroom into two rooms. This would create additional learning and meeting spaces for small-group instruction and support services for reading, speech and occupational therapy. Approval of the proposition will not affect the tax levy.

Proposition 5 authorizes the district to contract with the Westhampton Beach Union Free School District from two to five years for the education and transportation of grade 7-12 pupils. Approval of the proposition will not affect the tax levy.

WHEN | WHERE

2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Quogue School Library. www.quogueschool.com

CANDIDATES

Paul Bass and incumbents Lauren Battista, Steven Failla and Barbara Sartorius are vying for three seats, elected at-large. Terms are three years.

Paul Bass

BACKGROUND Bass, 59, is a retired Westhampton Beach district social studies teacher and longtime wrestling coach. He earned his bachelor's at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania and his master's degree from Stony Brook University. He also is chief of lifeguards at Southampton Town's Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays. Bass also served for 25 years as vice president or treasurer for the Suffolk County Wrestling Coaches Association. His three children attended Quogue School and graduated from Westhampton Beach High School.

KEY ISSUE Bass said he wants to help continue the tradition that "Quogue is one of the finest elementary schools in the state. I have 37 years in education and I think my experience could be a valuable resource for the board. We need to keep doing what we're doing and keep being the best district."

Lauren Battista

BACKGROUND Battista, 58, a real estate agent, is seeking her fifth term on the board, where she is the current president. She is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and previously worked in the fashion business in New York. She has been active in the district PTA, is a director of the nonprofit Quogue Association and a member of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge benefit committee. Her two children attended Quogue School and now go to Westhampton Beach High School.

KEY ISSUE Maintaining the quality of Quogue's educational programs while keeping within the tax cap is one of the district's most important issues. Battista pointed to a shared services agreement with surrounding districts as a way to help contain costs. "Having served on the BOE for the last 12 years, the past six as president, I believe I am uniquely qualified to help continue to maintain the level of excellence that Quogue School has achieved over the years."

Steven Failla

BACKGROUND Failla, 45, is a social studies teacher in the Riverhead district. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a master's degree and a professional diploma in school district leadership from Dowling College. Failla served in the Army Reserve for five years, served for seven years with the Quogue Fire Department, and is a varsity coach in the Riverhead district. He has one child in Quogue School and another attending Westhampton Beach High School. His wife is a teacher in the Central Islip School District. He has been on the board since 2016.

KEY ISSUE The district needs to continue to align its curriculum with new standards while "maintaining the strengths that have made it such a special place." The other important issue is the upcoming labor contract with teachers. "We need to honor the valued role teachers play and be fiscally responsible to the taxpayer. I think I'm uniquely qualified to speak to that, given the lens of my experience."

Barbara Sartorius

BACKGROUND Sartorius, 73, is seeking her fourth term on the board. She is a trustee for the Quogue Library and was a community member of the Shared Decision-Making Committee before being appointed to the school board in 2009. She has a bachelor's degree in art history from Lake Forest College in Illinois.

KEY ISSUE "We have to keep excelling within the 2 percent cap and continue to develop as we keep looking forward, like with our new STEAM program and our reading program. As a member of the Quogue community for over 50 years, I can bring value to the school board as a representative of the community at large."

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