School balloting this Tuesday

Contested board races in Lawrence and Hewlett-Woodmere


Residents in the Lawrence and Hewlett school districts can vote on their respective budgets and for Board of Education candidates on Tuesday.

Lawrence is proposing a $93 million budget that has a tax levy increase of 3 percent. That includes $880,000 to supplement the district’s state mandated teacher retirement payment of $4.2 million. The tax levy — the amount needed to be raised by tax dollars — is just over $83 million.

Up to 19 employees, including a half dozen teachers, social workers, psychologists and eight facilities workers, will be laid off. “This is where we feel the pain,” said Superintendent Gary Schall. “The board has agreed to restore positions as needed and where feasible if there are any unanticipated revenues or savings through additional retirements.”

The budget maintains student programs such as Advanced Placement classes, high school electives, activities and clubs. District officials said that the educational focus is on science, technology and math. “What Gary and his staff are extremely good at is asking, ‘Do we really need it?’ and are able to find programs to move forward,” said Dr. Asher Mansdorf, president of the school board.

Lawrence school board

Three seats are up for election on the Lawrence Board of Education.

Incumbent Dr. Solomon Blisko is not running for re-election. Contending for his seat are Jesse Lunin-Pack, Tova Plaut and Dov Herman. Incumbent Rabbi Nahum Marcus is being challenged by Michael Hatten, and longtime Trustee Dr. David Sussman is running unopposed. Juan Zapeda is on the ballot, but isn’t running.

Also on the ballot are the budget for the Peninsula Public Library and one library trustee seat. The proposed spending plan is $3.056 million, an increase of $61,190 over the current budget.

Library Director Karen Porcella said that being prudent and maintaining programs are the goals. “We can’t, in these lean times, raise costs too much,” said Porcella, adding that money was added to the budget for eBooks and databases. The overall increase for materials is $10,245.

State-mandated employee benefits increased by $63,685, and administrative expenses went up by $5,600. “We are trying to keep spending down as much as we can,” said Porcella, adding that the installation of energy-efficient lights has been cost-effective.

Samuel Francis, a Cedarhurst resident, is running unopposed for the five-year library trustee term. Francis did not return a call requesting comment before press time. Joel Schiff, the incumbent, died on April 8.

There are four polling places where residents can vote, depending on their election district: The Number Two School, at 1 Donahue Ave. in Inwood; Lawrence Middle School, at 195 Broadway in Lawrence; Lawrence High School, at 2 Reilly Road in Cedarhurst; and Atlantic Beach Village Hall, at 65 The Plaza in Atlantic Beach. Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Hewlett-Woodmere budget

Hewlett-Woodmere’s proposed budget is $109.6 million, an increase of 3.61 percent over the current spending plan. It includes the continuation of the Discovery lab program and Community Education classes, two programs residents fought for at two lengthy school board meetings. The estimated tax levy increase is 3.45 percent, and the tax levy — the total tax revenue the district needs to raise — is just over $97 million.

“The work of the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education and administration has produced a sound budget that meets the expectations of our families and the community,” said Dr. Peter Weber, the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

Hewlett-Woodmere school board

Three resident are running for two seats in the at-large election, and the seats will go to the two candidates with the highest vote totals. The contenders are incumbent Harold Kislik, Mitchell Greebel and Fred Usherson.

Residents can vote at the Woodmere Education Center, at 1 Johnson Place in Woodmere, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

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