TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Sagaponack school district

VOTING

7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sagaponack School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $1,538,692 budget for 2018-19, a 9.8 percent decrease from the current $1,704,582. The tax levy would decrease by 26.2 percent, from $1,583,332 to $1,167,742.

This decrease is within the $1,653,809 tax levy allowed under the district’s tax cap, so a simple majority is required to approve the budget.

School taxes on the average single-family home are expected to decrease by 26.2 percent, from $1,399.50 to about $1,032.30. The district noted that it has not received final town assessments.

The district said the drop in spending stems from variables such as the number of students paying tuition to attend grades 4-12 outside the small system, along with decreases in transportation and maintenance costs.

The proposed budget includes a 2 percent contractual increase for teachers and funding for a part-time aide.

District website:

sagaponackschool.com

THE CANDIDATES

Diana Payne and Lauren Thayer are vying for one at-large seat. Incumbent Joe Louchheim is not running for re-election. The term is three years.

Diana Payne

BACKGROUND: Payne, who declined to give her age, is office manager for Jason Payne Plumbing and Heating, the family business. She is involved in the school’s shared decision-making committee and has two daughters who attend the school. Two older daughters attended Sag Harbor schools. She studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

ISSUES: Payne enjoys helping plan Sagaponack School trips and working with the teachers and students. “It’s a very special school, and I’m passionate about what happens in the community and what parents want from the district,” she said. She said she would help promote the school to increase the number of students who attend classes there, and work toward involving students and parents more in preparing for the transition to fourth and fifth grades after they leave the school.

Lauren Thayer

BACKGROUND: Thayer, 37, is owner of Thayer’s Hardware and Patio in Bridgehampton. She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from Lehigh University and is a member of the Sagaponack Village Zoning Board of Appeals. She chairs the Bridgehampton Club’s summer camp and is active in the Bridgehampton Library and other community organizations. She has two children attending the school, which she also attended.

ISSUES: Thayer said she would work to make sure that more people know about the school’s programs — that it’s more than a quaint building — to keep the number of enrolled students a bit higher. “It’s important that we let incoming new residents know about its programs and the amazing public education available there,” Thayer said. She said she is working with The Madoo Conservancy to start a school garden in keeping with Sagaponack’s mission to encourage creative outdoor learning and play.

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