Originally from Ozone Park, DeLauter has lived with her husband and four children in North Bellmore for 28 years. Her youngest child, JoAnn, was a member of Mepham’s class of 2013. Her other children — Edward, Margaret and Kathryn — are graduates of Park Avenue, Grand Avenue and Mepham. A former researcher with a degree in animal science from West Virginia University, DeLauter now teaches music in pre-schools.
LaMagra, a retired NYPD narcotics detective, disagreed with DeLauter about the turnout for the second vote, describing it as poor. He said he believes more residents would have come to the polls if the election had been held while classes were still in session. He expected that the runoff would be held on June 18, three days before the last day of school.
Schissler explained that, according to state law, a budget revote, if necessary, would have been held on June 18, the third Tuesday of the month. But special school board trustee elections only have to be held within 45 days of the initial vote, and, he said, the current Board of Education set the date for the revote at a special meeting on May 28.
DeLauter, the president of the 2012-13 board, said that the group decided not to hold the vote on June 18 because it fell during the same week that graduations and other end-of-year events were scheduled. She noted that June 18 was the day before sixth grade graduation ceremonies in North Bellmore.
“We felt it was a very busy week for those parents that had children,” she said. “We thought we’d get a better turnout on the 25th.”
LaMagra said he would remain active in the community, and might run again. “I’ll see how it looks next year,” he said. “Maybe I’ll try again down the line.”
The challenger shook hands with DeLauter after the results were announced and her supporters gathered around to congratulate her.