A recount of votes in the Lawrence school board race between Jesse Lunin-Pack and Tova Plaut has Plaut in the lead now by 37 votes, according to a statement released by Lunin-Pack. Tuesday's election results had Lunin-Pack ahead by 426 votes. Dov Herman, who also ran to replace Dr. Solomon Blisko on the board, received 840 votes. Blisko declined to run for re-election.
"This is a very narrow margin. We are currently waiting for a count of how many absentee and provisional paper ballots were cast. If it is more than the margin of victory, then these ballots will need to be counted. This may take some time as each provisional ballot will need to be investigated to see if the voter was indeed entitled to vote," Lunin-Pack said in a written statement. He doesn't think the results will be certified until after the holiday weekend.
"That being said, we need to recognize that there is a very real chance that my victory will be overturned, and Tova Plaut will be declared the winner," he added.
Plaut said, she will not comment until the results are official.
Superintendent Gary Schall said that ther voting machines were impounded after iit was learned that there might have been a discrepancy in the counting of the votes.
Both the Hewlett-Woodmere and Lawrence school district budgets were approved in Tuesday night’s election.
By a nearly 3-to-1 margin of 2,081 to 744, the $93 million Lawrence spending plan passed. The tax levy increase is 3 percent. The tax levy — the amount to be raised by tax dollars — is just over $83 million.
"I am grateful to the community for the overwhelming support of our budget," said Superintendent Gary Schall. "It is a significant vote of confidence in the work of our board, administration, and entire school system to build a budget that reflects the shared values of our school community."
In another Lawrence board race, challenger Michael Hatten, of Cedarhurst, defeated incumbent Rabbi Nahum Marcus, 1,798 to 1,188. Hatten served one term on the board from 2006 to 2009. “This is a board with remarkable accomplishments that is the envy of every district,” Hatten said. “I look to continue that good work and represent the entire district.”
Juan Zapeda, whose name was on the ballot but who decided not to run after submitting his candidate petition, collected 491 votes.
Running unopposed was longtime incumbent Dr. David Sussman. He was re-elected with 2,192 votes.
All Board of Education terms are three years.
Kislik, Greebel elected
The budget vote tally in Hewlett-Woodmere was 1,295 to 998 for the $109.6 million spending plan. The anticipated tax levy increase is 3.45 percent, while the tax levy is just over $97 million.
Residents also approved the use of $463,360 from the capital reserve fund, by a count of 1,275 to 851. The money will be applied to several technology upgrades throughout the district.
Incumbent Trustee Harold Kislik was re-elected to a fourth term with 1,409 votes. “I’m grateful to the community for their support, not only for my re-election, but for passing the budget as well,” said the lifelong district resident. Central Council PTA President Mitchell Greebel won election to the Board of Education with 1,541 votes, to Fred Usherson’s 633. This is the second consecutive year in which Usherson lost a bid to be a trustee.
“I’m looking forward to participating in the process to restore Hewlett-Woodmere to its former glory as an elite school district on Long Island,” Greebel said. “[Having won] means that there is a lot of work to be done in the district, and I have been given confidence by the community to start that work.”
Kislik said he was enthusiastic about Greebel’s becoming a fellow trustee. “It’s great having new people on the board for the past two years, and I think it’s going to be great having another new person on the board,” Kislik said. “We’re reinventing ourselves every year, and it’s working just great.”
Library budget approved
The Peninsula Public Library’s $3.056 million spending plan gained approval by a count of 2,021 to 584.
Cedarhurst resident Samuel Francis, running uncontested for a five-year library board term, garnered 1,212 votes. Francis will replace Joel Schiff, who died on April 18.