While weighing in on school budgets Tuesday, voters will also have their say on the school board members who will help to set those budgets in coming years.
In addition to the race in Springs, covered separately, there are contested races in the East Hampton, Amagansett, and Sag Harbor School Districts. In Montauk, Bridgehampton, Sagaponack, and Wainscott incumbents are running unopposed.
In East Hampton, five candidates are vying for two seats.
Patricia Hope, a biology teacher at East Hampton High School for 33 years, is running to bring “clarity and transparency” to the school board and the budget process.
Paul Fiondella has expressed his view on ways to cut the budget at many school board meetings. That, and his concern over the governor’s proposed 2-percent tax levy looming next year, have brought him forward as a candidate. He vows to keep costs down while not compromising academic value.
Jacqueline Lowey, who has two children at the John M. Marshall Elementary School, is a former deputy director at the National Park Service and has also served in several other posts in Washington, D.C. She is a strong proponent of public education.
Marie Elena Klarman, the mother of three children in elementary school, is a former attorney who feels her negotiation skills and understanding of contracts would serve the district well if she were elected.
Liz Pucci has been a school lunch monitor at John Marshall for a decade, and has four children who have gone through or are in the East Hampton school system. She promises an honest and open approach to her time on the school board.
In Amagansett, two incumbents are running for re-election, and Phelan Wolf is running for the first time.
Mr. Wolf, a local real estate broker and school parent, grew up in East Hampton and served as the assistant East Hampton Town attorney. He said that the school is terrific and he’s not looking to reinvent the wheel, but feels his experience can benefit the district.
Patrick R. Bistrian, who has already served two terms on the board, works at Bistrian Gravel, his family’s business. He has three children at the school and has been a Little League coach for the past eight years. He believes strongly in providing “quality education” while keeping the tax levy at sustainable levels.
Vincent Vigorita, the board’s chairman, wants to continue offering support to the superintendent, Eleanor Tritt. An orthopedic pathologist, Dr. Vigorita has two children who have passed through Amagansett School, and is also the chairman of the board of the Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn.
Both Mr. Bistrian and Dr. Vigorita are concerned about unfunded state mandates and their effects on school budgets.
In Sag Harbor, four candidates, including two incumbents and one former school board member, are competing for three seats. Both Theresa Samot and Mary Ann Miller, current members, are seeking re-election, and Sandi Kruel, who has served two past terms, is also looking for a spot. Rounding out the candidates is Annette Bierfriend, the current PTA president.
Daniel Hartnett, a school board member and bilingual social worker in the East Hampton district, is not seeking reelection.
In Montauk, Patti Leber, the board’s vice president, is running for her third term. She is active in initiating new programs for students and encourages new learning techniques, such as involving students with community members who might be able to share their expertise. She has a financial background and was a former president of the Montauk PTA when her two children were in school there.
In Wainscott, Iris Osborn is running unopposed to keep her seat, and in Bridgehampton, Nicki Hemby, the board president, and Elizabeth Kotz are also running uncontested races to keep their seats.
Sagaponack School held a special election last month in which Cathy Hatgistavrou was sworn in to replace Charles Barbour, who had vacated his board seat when he moved out of the area. On Tuesday, Fred Wilford, a longtime board member, will be on the ballot unopposed in Sagaponack.