Huntington School District voters voiced support for the district’s children — and also concern for their own financial well being — as they turned out to cast votes on the proposed budget.
Pat Urban, 62, a 26-year resident whose three children are district graduates, voted “yes."
“I’m always very supportive of the budget. The children are our future and a ‘no’ vote is against them.” she said.
And Madeline London, who has lived in the district for six years and has one child, voted for the budget, “even though I'm disappointed that we'll lose some teachers and aides if it passes.”
But Vera A. Knight, 60, a Huntington Station native, said she was casting a “no” vote for the first time.
“I haven’t seen any improvement in the schools and then they closed [the] Jack Abrams [school],” she said. “It seems to me the board ignored my community and closed the school. There was no respect...Some of these people must go.”
And Helen O. Bell, a 40-year Huntington Station resident, said she was also casting a “no” vote for the first time — to send a message.
“It’s not right that they closed the school with no plan. Now the kids are crowded into buildings and tight classrooms,” she said. “And they are raising taxes? What did they do with the money appropriated for the closed school? Something is not right.”
Thomas Jerideau, 83, a Huntington Station resident for 40 years, said he was voting “yes” as he always does.
“It’s what you are suppose to do: Support the children in the district. If you are upset about one thing, you don’t defeat the budget over that....
“It's understandable, and regrettable, that they have to cut some programs but it’s something that has to be done,” he said, “and the property tax increase is minimal. So hopefully the budget will pass.”