Voters Pass Budgets in All Districts

Near-Record Turnout in Springs

    Educators and parents rejoiced on Tuesday night, as every school budget from Montauk to Sagaponack passed. Although the results were yea in every case, some votes were closer than others.

    Despite a budget that was initially questioned at school board meetings by board members and the public alike, the East Hampton Union Free School district budget passed on Tuesday, with voters favoring the $64.4 million spending plan 540 to 271. The budget, according to Raymond Gualtieri, the district superintendent, was about $585,000 less than the New York State recommended contingency budget. The 2011-12 plan calls for a 5.89-percent tax increase, or an additional $2.56 per $100 of assessed value over this year’s levy.

    Jacqueline Lowey, an elementary school parent who is a consultant to governments, corporations, and nonprofits, and Patricia Hope, who spent 33 years as a biology teacher at the high school, won seats on the school board with votes of 490 and 464, respectively. The runners-up were Liz Pucci with 351 votes, Paul Fiondella, 257, and Marie Elena Klarman, 88.

    Ms. Lowey and Ms. Hope will fill the seats that are being vacated by James Amaden, the school board president, and John Ryan Sr., a longtime board member.

    In Springs, where there had been intense opposition to the proposed $24.85 million budget — which reflects an increase of nearly $1.5 million over this year’s spending — the vote was much closer than East Hampton’s, 562 to 436, a difference of 126 votes.

    According to the Springs School District’s clerk, Fran Silipo, the voter turnout in Springs was the highest in years. Almost 1,000 voters — 998, to be exact — braved stormy weather on Tuesday. Past elections have brought half that amount, “about 400 to 600,” she said.

    Two propositions in Springs also passed. The new high school tuition agreement with East Hampton, which will have East Hampton pay back almost $3.2 million to Springs over the next four years, passed 793 to 186. A proposition to start a capital reserve fund for building needs also went through, 704 to 246.

    The board seats in Springs will be taken by Liz Mendelman, who has been the Springs PTA president, with 503 votes, and Tim Frazier, a principal at the Southampton Intermediate School, with 442. Arthur Goldman, a social studies teacher at the high school, was a close third with 416 votes, followed by Phyllis Mallah, a retired educator from Yonkers, with 281. Christopher Kelley, the board’s president, and Thomas Talmage, a board member, will be stepping down at the end of June.


    In Amagansett, the $9.2 million budget, an increase of 5.81 percent over last year’s spending, passed 135 to 52, and the Amagansett Free Library budget proposition passed 143 to 46. Patrick R. Bistrian was re-elected to the board with 144 votes, and Phelan Wolf, a newcomer to the race, edged out Vincent Vigorita, the incumbent and the board’s president, by just seven votes, 101 to 94.


    Montauk voters approved next year’s $18.1 million budget with 205 people voting yes and 139 voting against it. Patti Leber, who was running unchallenged to keep her seat on the board, got 283 votes for her third five-year term.

    Educators and parents rejoiced on Tuesday night, as every school budget from Montauk to Sagaponack passed. Although the results were yea in every case, some votes were closer than others.

    Despite a budget that was initially questioned at school board meetings by board members and the public alike, the East Hampton Union Free School district budget passed on Tuesday, with voters favoring the $64.4 million spending plan 540 to 271. The budget, according to Raymond Gualtieri, the district superintendent, was about $585,000 less than the New York State recommended contingency budget. The 2011-12 plan calls for a 5.89-percent tax increase, or an additional $2.56 per $100 of assessed value over this year’s levy.

    Jacqueline Lowey, an elementary school parent who is a consultant to governments, corporations, and nonprofits, and Patricia Hope, who spent 33 years as a biology teacher at the high school, won seats on the school board with votes of 490 and 464, respectively. The runners-up were Liz Pucci with 351 votes, Paul Fiondella, 257, and Marie Elena Klarman, 88.

    Ms. Lowey and Ms. Hope will fill the seats that are being vacated by James Amaden, the school board president, and John Ryan Sr., a longtime board member.

    In Springs, where there had been intense opposition to the proposed $24.85 million budget — which reflects an increase of nearly $1.5 million over this year’s spending — the vote was much closer than East Hampton’s, 562 to 436, a difference of 126 votes.

    According to the Springs School District’s clerk, Fran Silipo, the voter turnout in Springs was the highest in years. Almost 1,000 voters — 998, to be exact — braved stormy weather on Tuesday. Past elections have brought half that amount, “about 400 to 600,” she said.

    Two propositions in Springs also passed. The new high school tuition agreement with East Hampton, which will have East Hampton pay back almost $3.2 million to Springs over the next four years, passed 793 to 186. A proposition to start a capital reserve fund for building needs also went through, 704 to 246.

    The board seats in Springs will be taken by Liz Mendelman, who has been the Springs PTA president, with 503 votes, and Tim Frazier, a principal at the Southampton Intermediate School, with 442. Arthur Goldman, a social studies teacher at the high school, was a close third with 416 votes, followed by Phyllis Mallah, a retired educator from Yonkers, with 281. Christopher Kelley, the board’s president, and Thomas Talmage, a board member, will be stepping down at the end of June.

    In Amagansett, the $9.2 million budget, an increase of 5.81 percent over last year’s spending, passed 135 to 52, and the Amagansett Free Library budget proposition passed 143 to 46. Patrick R. Bistrian was re-elected to the board with 144 votes, and Phelan Wolf, a newcomer to the race, edged out Vincent Vigorita, the incumbent and the board’s president, by just seven votes, 101 to 94.

    Montauk voters approved next year’s $18.1 million budget with 205 people voting yes and 139 voting against it. Patti Leber, who was running unchallenged to keep her seat on the board, got 283 votes for her third five-year term.

    Heading to points west, Sagaponack School’s $1.64 million budget passed, bringing with it a tax increase of 2.6 percent, or $3.90 per $100 of assessed value. Fred Wilford, an incumbent board member, ran unopposed, but there were also 16 write-in votes for Patrick Guarino, a Sagaponack Village board member.

    In Wainscott, the $3.58 million budget was approved 38 to 6. Iris Osborn was running unopposed for her school board seat and retained it with 32 votes. There was one write-in vote for Kelly Anderson, a school parent.

    The Bridgehampton School budget of $10.6 million, a 5.63-percent increase over last year’s spending plan, passed 136 to 55 with almost identical numbers for the proposition, which annually provides funding to the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center. Elizabeth Whelan Kotz and Nicki Hemby, a board member and the school board president respectively, were re-elected after running unopposed, although Joe Conti and Joe Berthaler received five write-in votes apiece.

    In Sag Harbor, the $33.2 million spending plan passed, 917 to 698. A proposition to initiate a capital reserve fund passed 917 to 557. In the board race to fill Sag Harbor’s three board seats, Mary Anne Miller and Theresa Samot, the two incumbents, were re-elected with 1,065 and 1,053 votes, and Sandi Kruel, a former board member, was voted back onto the board with 886 votes. Annette Bierfriend, who was also running, received 801 votes.­


    Heading to points west, Sagaponack School’s $1.64 million budget passed, bringing with it a tax increase of 2.6 percent, or $3.90 per $100 of assessed value. Fred Wilford, an incumbent board member, ran unopposed, but there were also 16 write-in votes for Patrick Guarino, a Sagaponack Village board member.


    In Wainscott, the $3.58 million budget was approved 38 to 6. Iris Osborn was running unopposed for her school board seat and retained it with 32 votes. There was one write-in vote for Kelly Anderson, a school parent.


    The Bridgehampton School budget of $10.6 million, a 5.63-percent increase over last year’s spending plan, passed 136 to 55 with almost identical numbers for the proposition, which annually provides funding to the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center. Elizabeth Whelan Kotz and Nicki Hemby, a board member and the school board president respectively, were re-elected after running unopposed, although Joe Conti and Joe Berthaler received five write-in votes apiece.


    In Sag Harbor, the $33.2 million spending plan passed, 917 to 698. A proposition to initiate a capital reserve fund passed 917 to 557. In the board race to fill Sag Harbor’s three board seats, Mary Anne Miller and Theresa Samot, the two incumbents, were re-elected with 1,065 and 1,053 votes, and Sandi Kruel, a former board member, was voted back onto the board with 886 votes. Annette Bierfriend, who was also running, received 801 votes.­