Voters in Oysterponds rejected the school board’s proposed budget Tuesday, in the only local district to see its spending plan fail.
The board had proposed a $5.35 million spending plan – down 4.85 percent from the current school year — but it was still shot down by 57 percent of voters. The district saw 253 residents vote no to the 192 who voted yes.
“It’s a huge disappointment,” Oysterponds Superintendent Joan Frisicano said Tuesday night. “Many people, I believe, didn’t vote on the budget. Their vote was based on the secondary choice.”
Ms. Frisicano blamed voter dissatisfaction on published reports she said contained misinformation about the budget and the district’s secondary school choice.
“I did not see it myself, but people told me there was incorrect information printed,” Ms. Frisicano said, declining to name the publication because she hadn’t seen the reported false story herself.
School officials said the board will hold a special meeting May 22 to discuss if it will put up the same budget, modify it or present a contingency budget.
Voters also rejected a proposal to establish a $2.5 million reserve fund for capital improvements in Oysterponds.
Incumbents Linda Goldsmith (291 votes) and Krista de Kerillis (272 votes) were reelected to three-year terms. Challenger Alison Lyne received 193 votes.
A write-in tie was reported in New Suffolk, where no candidate was on the ballot. Residents Brooke Dailey and Jason Cooper received 35 votes apiece for the board, but Mr. Cooper conceded the race in a phone call to superintendent Bob Feger.
“He graciously chose to remove his name,” Mr. Feger said. “He said he personally is a big supporter of Brooke Dailey’s commitment to the school.” All three write-in candidates — Gary Steinfeld received 23 write-in votes — are parents of students in the school.
Mr. Feger also said he’s retiring at the end of June after 47 years as an educator, seven of them as New Suffolk Superintendent.
“I will really, really miss this school,” he said. “For me, being here was really putting the cherry on the sundae of my career. It’s time for someone new to take the reigns.”
New Suffolk School Board President Tony Dill said the board has been aware of Mr. Feger’s decision since March.
“We’ve already begun the search process,” he said. “We plan to announce his replacement before the end of June.”
Greenport also saw a write-in candidate elected Tuesday night, with Babette Cornine receiving 50 votes. She’ll serve with Dan Creedon, who was re-elected with 305 votes.
Budget: 280 yes, 124 no
School Board Winners: Dan Creedon 305 and Babette Cornine 50 write-in votes.
Budget: 571 yes, 395 no
School Board Winners: Sarah Hassildine 656, Laura Jens-Smith 665 and Douglas Cooper 673 votes.
Budget: 78 yes, 29 no
School Board Winner: Brooke Dailey 35 votes.
Budget: 192 yes, 253 no
Proposition to establish new reserve fund: 209 yes, 226 no
School Board Winners: Linda Goldsmith 291 and Krista de Kerillis 272 votes.
Budget: 534 yes, 289 no
High School Roof Proposition: 619 yes, 203 no
New School Bus Proposition: 566 yes, 200 no
Library budget: 551 yes, 267 no
School Board Winners: John Crean 522 and Paulette Ofrias 516 votes.