Editorial: One quiet election

04/21/2011 4:32 AM |

School taxes take the biggest tax bite out of commercial and residential property owners’ bank accounts. On average, they account for about two-thirds of the bill, and it’s a hefty one. The combined cost to keep public schools going in Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island is in the neighborhood of $200 million each year. A startling figure, but East End communities seem to believe that their schools provide a solid education that’s worth the investment. Of course, not everyone believes that, especially in this less-than-sunny financial climate.

With that much money on the line, it might seem odd that so few people are running for school board seats in the May 17 elections. In the seven districts within those three towns there are but two contested seats. There are a few ways to look at that.
It could be that people believe current board members are doing the best they can under very difficult circumstances. Then again, who has the time or temperament to campaign for a seat that pays nothing, can be extremely time-consuming and may put you at odds with friends and neighbors for possibly — if not probably — voting to cut programs and staff while still raising taxes?

It’s a tough job with absolutely no glitz or glamour. We all should be grateful that we have community-minded people, even if only just enough, willing to step forward and fill each of the school boards. What would we do without them?



9 Comment

  • Councilwoman Giglio was at a Solid Waste Management Meeting with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation during Work Session.

  • How come Riverhead Town can give its residents free bags to put their leaves in, but Southold Town residents have to pay (way too much) for them?

  • The Highway Department is on Osborne Ave, north of Route 58. It is not on Route 58 as stated in article.

  • It would be nice if the bags were available for pickup outside of normal working hours. I have to take off to go get the bags?

  • People that have children in school should pay all the school taxes,why should I pay to educate your kids???

  • The reason is so others will become educated and not grow up to be like you!