Miller Place residents elect newcomer Keith Frank

Miller Place residents elect newcomer Keith Frank

Keith Frank, left with school board president, Mike Unger, right, finds out he won a seat on the Miller Place school board. Photo by Erika Karp

Miller Place residents came out in support of the district’s proposed nearly $70 million budget on Tuesday with 79 percent of voters casting a “yes” ballot.

The approved budget, which stays within the district’s tax levy increase cap of 2.85 percent, maintains programs and adds a few new instructional programs, support services and extracurricular activities. Out of the 1,226 ballot papers lodged, 964 were in the affirmative.

In addition, residents approved a proposition for library services and elected Keith Frank, 50, as their new school board trustee.

“I think that almost 80 percent is certainly a record in the district for the budget and in a light voter turnout, it means even more,” school board president, Mike Unger, said.

Frank, an attorney and father of three kids, waited anxiously for the results to be announced on Tuesday evening. He received 781 votes, while opponent Mike Manspeizer, 55, fell short with 287 votes. After finding out he won, Frank smiled and was congratulated by other board members. He said it felt great to be elected.

“I just want to thank everyone for coming out and voting,” Frank said. “I’m just looking forward to the next three years.”

The newcomer will take Unger’s seat as the board president did not seek re-election for a third term. In an email, Unger said he feels the board is in great shape and it’s a good time to hand things off. Frank will assume his school board role on July 1.

“I am pleased with Keith Frank as the new trustee,” Unger said. “Both candidates had valuable experience to offer. Keith will be a great addition who will work very well with the existing board, the administration and the community.”

Manspeizer said he will continue to serve and be involved in the community.

“I am disappointed in the outcome, but I have a great deal of respect for Keith and I know he’ll do a great job,” he said.

Miller Place Superintendent Marianne Higuera said she was pleased the budget passed.

“We’re very appreciative of the community’s support of our programs and staff, and we look forward to another successful year,” she said.

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