10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Southampton Intermediate School.
The district proposes a budget of $68,847,113 for 2017-2018, a 1.65 percent increase from the current $67,731,464. The tax levy would increase 3.47 percent, from $53,676,683 to $55,541,498.
This increase is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 3.95 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.
Estimated school taxes on the average single-family home would decrease by 0.97 percent, from $2,262 on $1 million of assessed value to $2,240.
The proposed budget includes teacher and staff salary increases of 2 percent or less, depending on the employee contract, and the addition of a physical wellness program with a full-time equivalent staff member. All other programs will be maintained.
In addition to the budget, the district is asking voters to decide on five propositions. One proposition asks voters to establish a capital reserve fund of $20 million or less over about 10 years for future district facilities repairs, alterations and reconstructions. Another proposition asks voters for authorization to use $1.245 million from the 2007 Ten-Year Capital Reserve Fund for renovations on the cabinets at Southampton High School, the bus entrance and exit at Southampton Elementary School and the HVAC system and locker rooms at Southampton Intermediate School. Another proposition asks voters to approve spending up to $230,000 to purchase a 48-passenger bus and two 20-passenger vans. The district says the new buses and renovations would not impact next year’s tax levy. Two other propositions ask voters to authorize a $407,800 contract with the Southampton Youth Association for a recreation program and to authorize a $190,000 contract with the Southampton Historical Museum for services. Those two contracts would impact the tax levy for next year, according to the district.
- District website: www.southamptonschools.org
Incumbent Andrew Brindle and candidates SunHe Sherwood-Dudley, Jacqueline Robinson and Natalie Sisco are running for two at-large seats with four-year terms.
BACKGROUND: Brindle, 54, is a consultant. He received a bachelor’s degree from Bristol University in England. Brindle has lived in the district for 10 years and has served on the school board since 2012. Of his four children, two attend Southampton Intermediate School. Another son attends Pierson Middle School in Sag Harbor, and his daughter is at Pierson High School. Brindle has served as a volunteer coordinator for the Southampton lacrosse program.
ISSUES: Brindle said he wants to “continue the work of my last five years on the board” and is focused on having a fiscally responsible district and supporting and recognizing “our best teachers.” He wants to make sure the district has “one coherent philosophy and curriculum across the three schools,” he said. “We have achieved much but there is still a lot to improve,” he added.
BACKGROUND: Sherwood-Dudley, 50, is a real estate associate broker who has lived in the district for 18 years. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island. Her four children attend school in the district. Sherwood-Dudley is on the district’s health and wellness committee and was previously the PTA treasurer at Hampton Day School for two years in the mid-2000s.
ISSUES: Sherwood-Dudley said she wants to improve district transparency and communication so taxpayers “know how their money is being spent.” “When the school board and the administrators and the educators and the parents are in full communication with each other, we can realize our full potential,” she said. Sherwood-Dudley said she also wants more professional development for educators so they can be “innovative” and improve student achievement.
BACKGROUND: Robinson, 47, is a stay-at-home mom and part-time chef. She is a lifelong district resident and graduated from Southampton High School. She has an associate degree from Suffolk County Community College and attended Long Island University Southampton between 1991 and 1995. Robinson served as PTA president of Southampton Elementary School between 2008 and 2010, and again from 2013 to 2014. She is an active member of the North Sea Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary and previously coached cheerleading and safety for the Suffolk County Police Athletic League. Robinson has two children who attend district schools.
ISSUES: Robinson said she believes Common Core is holding back teachers and stifling their creativity. “It’s about each child individually and how are we going to make them reach their full potential,” Robinson said of the goal of public education. We need to “help teachers not teach to the test but teach to the children.” She also said she is concerned about parents feeling excluded from the district if English is not their first language.
BACKGROUND: Sisco, 35, is a substitute teacher at Peconic Community School in Aquebogue. Her husband teaches social studies at Southampton Intermediate School. Her stepson attends 11th grade at the high school, and her son will attend Southampton prekindergarten in the fall. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Long Island University Southampton in 2005 and received a master’s degree in reading and literacy at Walden University in Minnesota. She has lived in the district for 14 years.
ISSUES: Sisco said she is concerned that the district is not meeting the needs of its changing demographics, especially when nearly half the students are on free or reduced lunch programs. “It’s important we create policies in the interests of all the students of Southampton,” Sisco said. “It should be the district’s responsibility to meet the needs of the entire population,” she said. Sisco said she would also like to add programs like an extended school day, extended recess and more after-school activities.