Written by Christopher Nesterczuk, Editorial@antonnews.com Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00
The Manhasset Board of Education and administration presented a revised budget to a standing-room-only crowd in the Manhasset Secondary School Black Box Theater. After failing to achieve a supermajority vote on May 21, the administration and Board presented its case for $3.1 million in reductions and a 1.97 percent increase in spending.
A supermajority vote is required because Manhasset’s tax cap levy limit, as mandated by the state of New York for the 2013-14 tax year, is 0.15 percent. For the budget to pass, a supermajority vote requires 60 percent of voters to vote Yes. In other words, three Yes votes are needed for every two No votes.
The Board of Education circulated a revised spreadsheet highlighting the new proposed reductions. After Superintendent of Schools Charles Cardillo presented the proposed cuts in staff, curriculum and athletics, members of the community were given the opportunity to ask questions and share concerns.
“I moved to Manhasset less than two years ago from downtown Manhattan in order for my son to have a better education. We have been thrilled with the support he has been getting from teachers and administrators the past two years at Shelter Rock. While I am disappointed that there will be reductions to the existing school infrastructure in the new proposed budget, the alternative of going to Austerity is unthinkable and unacceptable,” said district resident Hannah Martinez after the June 3 meeting.
Many attendees encouraged members of the community to inspire Manhasset residents to vote.
“I feel this is a good, solid budget for our community and for our students. While personally, I supported the May 21 budget, this June 18 budget reflects the fact that the community did not. The 60 percent supermajority requirement for passage is a daunting hurdle for our community,” said Board Vice President Regina Rule. “I hope the community can come together with this budget.”
After over two hours of discussions, the Board unanimously adopted the revised budget. The second budget vote will be held on June 18 at Manhasset High School.