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2023 budget

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Smithtown residents will find 15 candidates vying for three seats when they vote for Smithtown Library trustees on Oct. 11. The election will also include a vote on the 2023 budget.

The number of candidates is the most since Smithtown residents voted for an independent library district more than 20 years ago, according to library director Robert Lusak. In 2001, 20 candidates were running for seven seats.

This year, incumbents Joseph Gregurich and Anita Dowd-Neufeld are among the candidates. Current trustee Marie Gergenti, whose term expires at the end of the year, decided not to run again. 

Brief biographies and mission statements from each candidate are listed on the Smithtown Library website, smithlib.org/library-board-candidates-2022.html.

On Monday, Oct. 3, the League of Women Voters held a Meet the Candidates Night via Zoom, which can be viewed on the library’s YouTube page through smithlib.org/library-vote-and-trustee.html. 

Regarding the trustee elections, Lusak said the desire is to have candidates with “a passion for libraries.”

“I would hope that anybody who runs for the library board cares about their library and wants to make sure that it’s the pillar of the community,” he said.

He added the library’s goal is to ensure “we provide high-quality customer service.”

The library director said previously passed budgets have allowed new services such as a notary public, a patent and trademark research library, a passport facility in the Smithtown building, and Library of Things where cardholders can take out items not expected at a library such as telescopes.

“When our budgets in all the previous years were successfully passed, it allowed us to introduce new technologies and new services that might not exist,” he said.

Recently, Marilyn LoPresti decided to resign from her board position. Due to the timing of the resignation, which would not allow certain deadlines to be met, her seat is not among those up for vote. The board will appoint a person to take over her position. The appointee will run in 2023 and, if successful, will finish out LoPresti’s term, which was scheduled for Dec. 31, 2024.

Residents who are registered voters will have the opportunity to say “yes” or “no” to the Smithtown Special Library District’s $17,434,000 proposed budget for 2023. Voting takes place at all library locations from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11.