By Leah Chiappino and Rita Egan
Smithtown residents voted on school budgets and board of education candidates May 21.
Smithtown Central School District
The Smithtown school district community passed the 2019-20 budget, 1,995 to 781.
Superintendent James Grossane applauded the passage of the budget.
“We worked very hard with the board of education to create a budget that supports programming for our students and makes sure we can give them the best education possible,” he said. “To have the community support for that is just a wonderful thing.”
Regarding voter turnout, Grossane stated that while he was pleased with the margin of victory, “we always hope that more and more folks come out.” He also said that the district is looking toward better supporting students emotionally by hiring support staff such as full-time social workers in elementary schools, continuing to add guidance counselors to the middle school and expanding psychological services.
In the election for BOE trustees, Michael Catalanotto defeated Peter Tufo in the race for resigning member Daniel Lynch’s seat, 1,853 to 836. Catalanotto said his three children and the his wife being a teacher inspired him to run. His central initiative is mental health and social media. He sees increasing parental involvement as a way to combat issues concerning social media usage among students, particularly middle-schoolers. He said that this along with looking at the statistics concerning mental health and social media and ways to limit access to it could be keys to solving its problems, and he looks forward to working on it. His three-year-term begins July 1. For a one-year term effective immediately, Jerry Martusciello defeated Ralph Michele 1,511 to 891 after the resignation of Joanne McElroy.
Kings Park School District
Kings Park residents passed the $93,880,803 budget, Proposition 1, on the ballot, 985 to 376. They also had the opportunity to vote on the creation of a new capital reserve account, Proposition 2, which was approved, 987-363.
Incumbents Pam DeFord and Dan Tew regained their seats on the board, 1,106 and 1,046, respectively. Challenger JP Andrade received 264 votes.
Tew said he looks forward to working with the board as far as bond work and moving the district forward technology-wise, including making Chromebooks accessible to students to go paperless.
Pam DeFord thanked the community for their support and passing the budget.
“Looking at the numbers, they speak for themselves, they show that the community is happy with what we’re doing so we’ll continue doing what we’re doing, and I look forward to serving the community for the next three years,” DeFord said.
Hauppauge School District
Hauppauge residents passed the $116,054,674 budget, 754-340. Proposition 2 also passed, 833-258, to allow spending from capital reserves for roof replacement at Pines Elementary School and districtwide bathroom reconstruction. BOE incumbents David Barshay, 735 votes, Gary Fortmeyer, 771, and Rob Scarito, 757, retained their seats.