7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the district administration building and Santapogue Elementary School.
The district proposes a $106,381,606 budget for 2017-18, a 4.34 percent increase from the current $101,955,305. The tax levy would rise by 2.01 percent, from $68,243,966 to $69,619,034.
This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.
School taxes on an average single-family home would increase by 2.02 percent, from $7,237.65 to $7,383.60.
The proposed budget includes a 0.75 percent increase in salaries and varied step increases for teachers. It would reinstate eight assistant coaches and add an elementary social worker, two custodians, a security guard and an information technology worker.
- District website: wbschools.org
Patricia Consalazio and incumbents Raymond Downey, Cathy Gismervik and Jennifer Longo are running for three at-large seats. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Consalazio, 49, is a customer service representative at an international resin distributor in Melville. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University at Albany. She has three children, two of whom graduated from West Babylon Senior High School, and the third will graduate this year. She is the second vice president of the high school PTSA. Previously, she has served on the boards of West Babylon’s John F. Kennedy Elementary School PTA and the West Babylon Football and Cheerleading League.
ISSUES: Consalazio said she hopes to make board decisions more transparent to the public and to make it easier for residents to ask questions and get information from the board. Doing so would improve turnout at board meetings, she said, which she counts as another goal. Residents don’t attend in large numbers “because they don’t think they’re heard,” she said. Consalazio said she’d also like to rein in spending on salaries and pensions for nonteaching staff members. “It’s important that we be fair, but at the same time not be over the top,” she said.
BACKGROUND: Downey, 49, has been a physical education teacher at Wisdom Lane Middle School in Levittown for 25 years. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and with a master’s degree in physical education from Adelphi University. He is the president of a West Babylon girls’ lacrosse club. He has four children, one a student at West Babylon Senior High School, two at West Babylon Junior High School and one at John F. Kennedy Elementary School. His wife also works for the Levittown School District. He has served on the board since 2014.
ISSUES: Downey said keeping the district tax levy under the state cap is a primary concern for him as a board member. “It’s our job to make sure our district is making fiscally sound decisions with taxpayer money,” he said. Beyond that, however, Downey declined to cite any specific things he would like to accomplish if re-elected as a board member, or list any programs or projects in which he is especially interested. “I think what’s going on is perfect,” he said of the district. “I really don’t have anything in particular to put out there.”
BACKGROUND: Gismervik, 60, is retired, having previously co-owned a property management and appraisal business with her husband in Babylon. She is a graduate of the former Berner High School in Massapequa, and took classes in dental hygiene at Nassau Community College. Her three children graduated from West Babylon Senior High School. Her two daughters are teachers on Long Island. She is a eucharistic minister at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in West Babylon, and she has served on the school board since 2011.
ISSUES: Gismervik said she would like to expand anti-bullying programs to lower grade levels “to make kids more aware of how damaging bullying can be.” She also stressed the importance of keeping the district’s budget growth within the state tax cap. Gismervik said she would also like to introduce accelerated classes for younger students. In her time on the board, Gismervik said she is proud of having secured funding for capital improvements, rehired sports coaches and maintained arts programs.
BACKGROUND: Longo, 41, is a special-education teacher’s aide at James E. Allen Elementary School in Dix Hills. She graduated from West Babylon Senior High School. She has served on the executive board of the West Babylon Main Street Organization for about three years. Previously, she was the president of both the Santapogue Elementary School PTA and the West Babylon PTA Council. She has three children, one a 2014 graduate of West Babylon Senior High School and two who are current students there. She has served on the school board since 2014.
ISSUES: Longo said she would like to expand programming and staffing for special-needs students. “I feel that there are a lot more children being diagnosed” with conditions such as autism, ADD and ADHD, she said, which is why such an expansion would be merited. Longo also said she would like to introduce additional honors and Advanced Placement classes for high-performing students, and ensure that capital projects approved during her time on the board stay on track.