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School vote: In Mineola, it's about taxes

A steady stream of voters filled the voting booths at Hampton Street Elementary School in Mineola Tuesday morning. The proposed $84,221,638 budget is 5.11 percent higher than the current budget, with a local tax levy increase of 2.37 percent.

William Carollo, 56, said he votes in every election. He has lived in the community for eight years and does not have children in the district. He’s concerned about high taxes and said he voted against the proposed school budget.

“It was a little higher than it should be,” he said.

He said he voted for incumbent school board member William Hornberger because of what he believes is the candidate’s commitment to keeping costs down.

Most of the voters were senior citizens.Roman Kensy, 66, voted in favor of the budget. Kensy graduated from the district and credits it with preparing him for college, which led to a career in civil engineering. He has no children but wants young people in the community to have the same opportunities that he did.

“Education is important,” he said. “For me, it’s a moral issue.”

But another voter, a lifelong resident, voted against the budget.

The woman, who did not give her name because she has a relative working in the district, said this is the first time she’s voted against the budget. She said she doesn’t understand why her taxes are going up while the district is closing schools. And she said student achievement is too low to justify high taxes.

“Something is not adding up,” she said.

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