Eight Minutes to a Vote

On Monday, following months of debate, the Springs School Board convened for precisely eight minutes, during which time board members unanimously voted to adopt the $26,657,873 budget for the 2014-15 school year.

“I want to thank the staff for all of their hard work in putting the budget together,” Elizabeth Mendelman, the board president, said to the small handful of parents and community members in attendance. “We have a great future ahead of us at Springs, and it will be great to add these incremental resources. Next year, I look forward to a great year under the budget.”

The $26.6 million budget represents a 4.9-percent increase over the current budget of $25.4 million. As such, the tax levy would increase by 3.18 percent, which is under the state tax cap after exemptions are taken into account.

As previously reported, for homeowners whose houses are valued at $400,000, the increase would result in a tax hike of $163. Properties valued at $600,000 would see an increase of $245, and those valued at $800,000 would pay $326 more.

Monday was also the deadline for Springs residents to declare whether they intended to run for the two school board vacancies. Only Ms. Mendelman and Timothy Frazier, both incumbents whose terms expire June 30, submitted paperwork. Each seeks a second, three-year term.

Ms. Mendelman, 55, helps run a family business that owns and operates four marinas on Three Mile Harbor. She has lived in Springs for the past 12 years and has served as president of the school board since July.

Ms. Mendelman earned a bachelor’s degree at the State University at Plattsburgh and a master’s degree at the State University at Albany. For the past two years, she has led the Safe Routes to School program in addition to serving on the Springs Citizens Advisory Committee. Her two daughters attend the Springs School.

Mr. Frazier, 60, a resident of Springs for the past 14 years, has worked as an educator for more than 30 years. The principal of the Southampton Intermediate School, he is also the president of the Southampton Association of School Administrators and serves as a trustee for the East End Health Plan. In the past he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University and a master’s degree from James Madison University. He also pursued a doctoral degree from the University of Virginia, where he completed everything but his dissertation.

His wife, Tracy Frazier, teaches fifth grade at the Springs School, where his youngest daughter attends. An older daughter, who also went to Springs, is now at East Hampton High School.

The next school board meeting is planned for May 12 at 7 p.m. in the school’s library. Thomas Primiano, the district’s treasurer, will lead a final budget presentation in advance of the May 20 vote. May 15 is the last day for voters to register, with May 19 the deadline for absentee ballots.