TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandSuffolk

Sayville school district

VOTING

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Suffolk County Community College Sayville Downtown Center, 30 Greene Ave.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes an $89,405,025 budget for 2015-16, a 0.72 percent decrease from the current $90,051,225. The local tax levy would increase 1.76 percent, from $57,936,627 to $58,958,645.

This increase is less than the state's tax-cap limit of 2.69 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family house would increase 1.76 percent, from $7,489 to $7,621.

The proposed budget would fund smaller elementary-school classes and restore varsity, junior varsity and middle-school sports.

The proposed budget includes a contractually mandated 1.5 percent salary increase for teachers as well as a 2.26 percent step increase.

A $19.2 million facilities improvement bond will also be up for approval. The bond would fund districtwide improvements, including repairs to the middle school roof, boiler repairs, infrastructure upgrades and installation of a turf field at Depot Street. Bond approval will not increase the district's debt service cost because of retirement of existing debt, assistant superintendent John Belmonte said. Approval would not affect the budget or tax levy.

District website:

sayville.k12.ny.us

THE CANDIDATES

Incumbent Carl Cangelosi is being challenged by Debra Burns; incumbent Keith Kolar is being challenged by Teal Rizzo. Incumbent John Verdone is running unopposed. Terms are three years.

Carl Cangelosi

BACKGROUND: Cangelosi, 38, teaches seventh- and eighth-grade social studies in the Lynbrook school district. He also runs Upcycle Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing sustainable operating practices. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from Johns Hopkins University, a master's degree from Stony Brook University and a master's degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University. A district resident for 31 years, he has two children attending district public schools. He is running for his second term. He also is a member of the Sayville Schools Bond Committee, the district's energy performance committee and the Long Island chapter of the United States Green Building Council.

ISSUES: Cangelosi would push for sustainable management of district facilities with programs he said will save taxpayers money while preparing students for the job market. Initiatives he has introduced include school lunch recycling, districtwide energy performance improvements, a low-water garden and ride-sharing for school staff. "We are morally obligated to run our schools as efficiently as possible and also to provide a foundation for our students to compete in the global economy," he said.

Debra Burns

BACKGROUND: Burns, 45, is an office manager for Precision-Aire, an air conditioning contractor in Bohemia. She has an associate degree in business administration from Briarcliffe College. A district resident for 31 years, she has two children attending district public schools. She also is a PTA member, Girl Scout leader and former Sayville Youth Lacrosse board member. She graduated from the Sayville district.

ISSUES: Voters' rejection of a $91.1 million cap-busting budget last year amounted to a mandate to spend more conservatively, Burns said. Her ideas include cutting down on duplicate mailings and reconsideration of a bus circle she said could cost $190,000 to build. "Because of my business background as an office manager, I'm always looking for savings," she said. But cuts haven't always been made wisely, she said, citing elimination of secondary summer school and 15 coaching positions last year. "This year they found the money by changing insurance companies," she said. "That should have been an option they looked at last year."

Keith Kolar

Kolar declined a request for an interview and did not complete a questionnaire provided by Newsday.

Teal Rizzo

BACKGROUND: Rizzo, 51, owns a construction company she declined to name. She earned several certificates related to the practice of law from New York University. A district resident for 24 years, she has one child in district schools and one child who graduated. She is a member of the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce and has presented at the SUNY Conference on Instruction and Technology. This is her first run for the school board.

ISSUES: Rizzo said the school board should do a better job of managing funds. She would create a budget advisory committee composed of district staff, residents and finance professionals and put stronger internal accounting controls in place. She also would push for greater board transparency. "It's important that the community reads the proper information," she said.

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