6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Hampton Bays Middle School.
The district proposes a $49,295,343 budget for 2015-16, a 2.33 percent increase from the current $48,171,253. The local tax levy would increase 1.6 percent, from $43,050,167 to $43,739,614.
This increase is less than the state's tax-cap limit of 2 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. School taxes paid on the average single-family home would increase 2.1 percent, from $5,918 to $6,040.
The proposed budget includes a pay raise for teachers of one step, or 3 percent. There are no other increases. There are no reductions in teacher and staff positions. The budget proposes to restore its elementary music program with one music teacher position and one special education teacher. Additional courses include one Advanced Placement chemistry class and one elementary-level band program.
Incumbent Warren Booth, Michael Dunn and Elizabeth Scully are vying for two at-large seats. Terms are three years.
BACKGROUND: Warren Booth, 50, is a maintenance mechanic crew member for the Hampton Bays Water District who has served on the school board since 2009. A 1982 graduate of Hampton Bays High School and nearly lifelong district resident, he is an active member of the Hampton Bays Volunteer Fire Department and a member of the American Legion of Hampton Bays. He is a liaison between the school board and the American Legion. His two children are Hampton Bays High graduates.
ISSUES: Booth said the district "must manage our enrollment and offer students college- and career-focused experiences." He said this must be done "while respecting the taxpayer and the tax cap. More than 90 percent of our budget comes from taxes, which creates the largest tax burden in Southampton Town." During his six years on the board, he said he has "worked with the town to control density and enrollment." Booth said he is a supporter of the district's robotics and Future Business Leaders of America programs, teacher Stephanie Forsberg's science research program at the high school, and SAT prep and Advanced Placement classes.
BACKGROUND: Dunn, 46, is a builder and a Hampton Bays High School graduate, Class of 1986. He has lived in the district 42 years. Dunn's leadership positions include president of Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays, chair of Hampton Bays Citizens Advisory Committee, member of Hampton Bays Village Exploratory Committee and Hampton Bays Economic Development and Revitalization Steering Committee. Dunn has three daughters in district schools -- in ninth and 12th grades at Hampton Bays High and in fourth grade at Hampton Bays Elementary School.
ISSUES: "I feel the most important issue facing our district is the escalating tax rate we are paying," Dunn said. He said his time spent living in Hampton Bays and leading two civic groups will be "valuable to the board of education. My years of civic duty by holding people responsible for their actions will be an asset to the students, the school district and the Hampton Bays taxpayer."
BACKGROUND: Scully, 34, is a photographer who has lived in the district 14 years. She is a Smithtown High School graduate and a LIU Southampton College graduate. She is president of the Hampton Bays High School Parent Teacher organization, executive board member of the Hampton Bays High School Parent Teacher Student Association and member of the Hampton Bays Booster Club. Scully is the parent of a ninth-grader at Hampton Bays High School and has a sixth-grader at Hampton Bays Middle School.
ISSUES: One of the largest issues affecting the district, she said, "is the separation among bilingual communities. I believe our board of education needs to further enhance procedures to break down language barriers, not only in the classroom, but in all aspects of our school community. The candidate proposes to increase parent "interaction from Spanish-speaking families . . . to become active voices in our parent organizations." She recommends appointing a liaison to work with parent volunteers. "By unifying the parents within our community, we will begin to see greater participation in school-sponsored events, after-school activities and other opportunities for students . . . creating positive results."