7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at William L. Buck School, Robert W. Carbonaro School, Brooklyn Avenue School and the South Corona Avenue firehouse.
The district proposes a budget of $27,774,154 for 2016-2017, a 1.99 percent increase over the current $27,232,372. The tax levy would rise by 0.33 percent, from $19,900,069 to $19,965,137.
This increase is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 0.33 percent, so a simple majority vote is required to approve the budget.
School taxes on the average single-family home would rise by 0.33 percent, from $3,048 to $3,058.
The proposed budget includes a 1.7 percent contractual salary increase for teachers. It does not include any new teachers or staff members, but does fund a new reading program.
- District website:
Incumbents Anthony Iadevaio, John Maier and Lawrence Trogel and candidates Alexandra Browne-Martin and Kim Wheeler are running for three at-large seats. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Iadevaio, 77, is a retired district sales manager for GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. He has lived in the district for 52 years and has served on the school board since 1980. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. John’s University. His four children attended district schools. Iadevaio served as school board president six times and received a lifetime achievement award from the New York State School Boards Association. He also is a past officer in the Elks Lodge.
ISSUES: With the district struggling to keep up with increased enrollment, Iadevaio said addressing the “space issues” is a top priority. Iadevaio noted that he is in charge of lobbying state legislators for additional aid, which he said will be important as the board considers expanding school buildings or rezoning. “There’s a couple of things I really want to finish up, and one of them is getting some of the kids who are in the hallways getting instruction into real classrooms,” Iadevaio said.
BACKGROUND: Trogel, 61, is an attorney who has lived in the district for 32 years. He has served on the school board since 2001, and also has served on the Valley Stream Central High School district board for nine years. He has a bachelor’s degree in business from SUNY Oswego, a master’s degree in business from Adelphi University and a law degree from Touro Law Center. He is the current president of the school board and a past president of the Valley Stream Central High School District board. Trogel has two children who attended district schools.
ISSUES: Trogel said maintaining excellence in the district’s educational programs while dealing with the state’s tax cap and the lack of space in the school buildings is a critical challenge. “We haven’t reached capacity, but we’re getting very close,” said Trogel, who believes the board should consider a building expansion bond. Going forward, Trogel said the school board will have to continue spending taxpayer dollars wisely, while also upgrading technology for students, including through additional computers and iPads. “Taxes are very high, so I like to give people a good product for what they are paying,” Trogel said.
BACKGROUND: Maier, 47, is a retired detective with the New York City Police Department. He has lived in the district for 13 years and has served on the school board since 2014. He has college credits from the New York City Police Academy. Maier is a former co-president of the William L. Buck PTA, a member of the Knights of Columbus and an assistant soccer coach. His daughter attends a district school.
ISSUES: Maier said he thinks the lack of space in the district’s school buildings is a key problem that will only worsen with the new residential developments planned in Valley Stream. “At the moment, we’re out of space. There are some kids being taught in the hallways,” said Maier, who believes the board may have to consider a building bond in the near future. He said the tax implications of an expansion are a concern, “but we have to make some tough decisions at times and have to do what’s best for the children and the community at large.”
BACKGROUND: Browne-Martin, 42, is an emergency medical technician who has lived in the district for 10 years. She studied psychology at New York University. Browne-Martin has been a Girl Scout leader for six years, and has been membership organizer for the Girl Scout district in Valley Stream for the past five years. She also is active in the William L. Buck and Brooklyn Avenue PTAs. She previously served as the district’s special education parent advocate. Browne-Martin has two children in a district school.
ISSUES: Browne-Martin said the Brooklyn Avenue School parents long have been underrepresented on the board, and she wants to change that. “I want to offer a new voice on the board for parents and their concerns,” she said. Browne-Martin said she’s concerned that new residential developments in the district will lead to further crowding in the district, which already has been affected by budget program cuts in recent years. “I cannot make any promises, but what I can offer is a definite strong voice,” she said.
BACKGROUND: Wheeler, 41, is a director of specialty leasing for a realty firm and has lived in the district for 19 years. She has an associate degree in applied science from Farmingdale State College. Wheeler has served on the William L. Buck school PTA’s executive board for more than eight years, where she currently is treasurer. She also served as president of that PTA. Wheeler has two children attending district schools.
ISSUES: Wheeler said, as an active parent in the community for several years, she will be “a great asset” to the board. “With the collaboration of the board, I can be a new set of eyes on any project,” said Wheeler, who would not single out any issue as being the most important facing the district. “Anything to do with our children is most important to me,” she said.