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Island Trees Library Budget, Trustee Election April 24

Budget hearing set for April 10

(The following statement on the budget and candidate biographies were submitted by the Island Trees Public Library.)

The Island Trees Public Library budget vote and trustee election will take place on Tuesday, April 24 from 1 to 9 p.m. in the library’s Dolores M. Morehouse Community Room. A budget hearing will take place on Tuesday, April 10, at 8 p.m., also in the Morehouse Community Room.

The Island Trees Public Library is sensitive to taxpayer concerns in these difficult times and is therefore increasing the budget by a minimal 1 percent. The staff and trustees of the library are committed to providing excellent service, materials and programs in a cost-effective manner.

The total proposed tax levy amount for 2012-13 is $1,145,624 which represents an $11,343 (1 percent) increase over the previous year. The average annual library tax per household is $170. Public library taxes are based on the assessed value of your property multiplied by the library tax rate.

The Island Trees Public Library slightly reduced operating hours in 2011 in order to reduce the personnel budget by 5 percent. The library has slightly reduced the collections budget and has held the line —or reduced wherever possible—in the operations budget. The only lines that have increased are costs, which the library does not control, most of which are federal- and state-mandated costs such as pension and health care.

Voter and Budget Information

The Island Trees Public Library encourages all district residents to vote. The library is located at 38 Farmedge Road, Levittown. You are eligible to vote if you are registered to vote in the general election or in the school district election. For those not already registered, you may register for this vote at the library during regular business hours through April 19. For information regarding absentee ballots, contact Library Director Jessica Koenig at (516) 731-2211. The budget is mailed to every household in the Island Trees School District. Copies are also available in the library.

Library Trustee Candidates

One library trustee will be elected for a five-year term that begins on July 1, 2012, and ends on June 30, 2017. The four candidates for the position are: Laurence H. Brown, Salvatore J. Rinaldi, Stefanie Rynkar, and Howard Y. Taylor.

Biographies for the four candidates appears on page 8

Laurence H. Brown

Brown submitted the following:

‘Knowledge is free at the library: just bring your own container.’ This anonymous quote best describes how I feel about the library, and why I want to serve my community by sitting on the library board. As a master special education teacher in Northport, with over 20 years of experience of teaching at all levels, I understand the role the library plays in the education of our youth. I currently work with the most at risk students who are suspended from school. The public and school libraries are their last link to knowledge.

Our Island Trees library has similar online resources: have you traced your heritage with Heritage Quest, or looked up what happened on your birthday with the New York Times database? We are fortunate also to have a library that continues to educate all of us through programs geared to all stages of life. If elected to the board, I would like to see that continue.

The reason we have such wonderful programs is the staff at the library. Living in the small municipality we do allows us to get to know one another on a more personal level. When my wife and I first moved to Island Trees some seven years ago we immediately recognized this.

Since our son was born four years ago, we have been going to the library several times a week. We have gotten to know the staff and fostered personal relationships with them and other patrons because of our visits. Because of the declining economy the library has been forced to cut back on its hours. I am confident that as the economy continues its turnaround we can restore our library to its previous level of service.

I have experience with hiring aides, teachers, principals and chairpersons. I have experience with formulating budgets on a program and schoolwide basis. During my 16 years at East Northport Middle school I served as union representative for three of those years, and as such, understand how to settle disputes between parties in a calm and fair fashion. I have spent time on curriculum committees steering the path of education for our students and learned to be a leader at times and pragmatic at others. I have spent my adult professional life in service through education and look forward to bringing my experience to serve the community of Island Trees.

Salvatore J. Rinaldi

Rinaldi submitted the following:

Sal Rinaldi was born and raised in Island Trees, and after graduating from college returned to settle here. A volunteer for over 12 years with the Levittown Fire Department, he currently serves as 1st Lieutenant in Ladder Company Six.

Rinaldi earned a bachelor of arts from SUNY Plattsburgh graduating as a member of Alpha Kappa Delta International Honor Society, and holds a master of public administration degree from the Wagner Graduate School at New York University.

He works as Long Island coordinator for the New York State Senate, Office of Majority Operations. He is also a member of the Sons of the American Legion, Post 1082.

Over the past 18 years Rinaldi has built a career in government and politics. Having worked in both the state assembly and senate, he has a great understanding of how legislation affects local government including the recently enacted 2 percent property tax cap, which can have serious ramifications on special districts like the Island Trees Library.

He has also served as deputy director of the Long Island Contractors Association, advocating on behalf of our local infrastructure industry, gaining invaluable experience in getting what our local community needs from state government. Over his years of dedicated service to the Levittown Fire Department, Rinaldi has risen to the rank of 1st Lieutenant, learning the importance of teamwork and giving back to the community in which we live.

The knowledge gained throughout his career, coupled with his educational background and continued volunteer service to our community make Rinaldi uniquely qualified for the position of trustee.

Stefanie M. Rynkar

Rynkar submitted the following:

Stefanie Rynkar is an M.B.A. professional with 17 years experience in the financial, marketing and internet/information technology industries. Her areas of expertise include: marketing, project management, process improvement, training and consulting. Her last position was as a marketing manager for Guardian Life Insurance where she implemented and supported the Advanced Marketing Firm Program in the general agencies, leading to a 37 percent annual increase in production. She developed promotional materials, designed training user manuals, brochures and fliers for Guardian’s client relationship management solution.

In addition, Rynkar created databases to produce quantitative and qualitative results to measure success of various programs and marketing initiatives, as well as supported agency marketing directors with their firm’s target market strategies and consulted with agency heads and created individualized marketing plans for financial representatives.

Rynkar is a member of National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), a career mentor of the Career Assistance Network, and an alumni mentor of the Graduate Women in Business Organization of Hofstra University (her alma mater).

She is a resident in the Island Trees School Districts for almost 9 years where she resides with her husband, Dan and their children, Amanda, 6 and Aidan, 2.

Howard Y. Taylor

Taylor submitted the following:

Howard Y. Taylor is a lifelong resident of Levittown. He has lived in the Island Trees Library District since 1987 and currently resides with his wife, children and their little dog too. Taylor, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hofstra University, has been an attorney since 1983.

He has served in the Office of the County Attorney, in the Bureau of Tort and Civil Rights Litigation as a trial attorney and deputy bureau chief. In 1994, he was assigned to serve as the counsel to the county executive.

Taylor has worked in the Nassau County Department of Assessment and currently serves as deputy receiver of taxes for the Town of Hempstead. He specializes in helping taxpayers lower their taxes by giving advice on how to grieve unfair assessments and apply for all exemptions, which taxpayers are entitled to.

Taylor ‘s other achievements include, president of the Nassau Lawyer’s Association of Long Island and chairman of the Nassau County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. He has spent all his professional life defending the taxpayer, representing the taxpayer and giving advice on how to lower the tax burden. If elected, he will use his experience as a tax lawyer to be a fiscal watchdog and effectively stretch our hard-earned tax dollars so the library can better serve the community.