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Despite Mailer, Greenport School Budget Passes

A Long Island conservative watch-dog group sent out a mailer urging voters to vote down the budget.

Just days before the May 15 school budget vote, some Greenport residents received a mailer from the Conservative Society for Action revealing teacher salaries and urging voters to vote "no" on the school budet.

On the outside of the mailer, the group, which is a conservative group that asks members to "expose liberals for what they really are" and "fight for freedom," urged voters to defeat the budget, which the group claimed had an increase three times higher than the average Long Island school district.

Inside the mailer, the group listed all administrator and teacher salaries in excess of $70,000. The public information included in the mailer, was not from the current year and did not give specific reasons why Greenport pierced the tax cap.

The group's website listed 10 cap busters, school districts that exceeded New York State 2 percent tax cap. The information on the site tells voters that their "no vote means no," contains generic information on what your school district does not want you to know, and continues with school-district specific salary list.

 asked voters to approve a $14,914,713 spending plan, up over the $14,100,005 2011-2012 budget. The tax levy increase is estimated to be 6.86, which pierced the state's spending cap and required a yes vote of 60 percent to pass. The increase is caused in part by borrowing costs associated with a total of $8.5 million in construction, renovation, and green energy bonds approved by the public. 

Even with the last minute mailer, voters approved the budget by a vote of 280 to 124 — a 69 percent pass rate.

Despite last minute concerns over the mailer that went to a select group of voters, Greenport Board of Education President Tina Volinski said she was happy the vote passed. Volinski said the turnout was similar to last year and was thankful to the voters in the district.

"Once again, Greenport has shown its support for the school," Volinski said.

The district also had two seats on the board of education up for election, but only had one candidate running after board member Lisa Murray chose not to run for re-election. Incumbant Dan Creedon received 305 votes and write in candidate Babette Cornine received 50 votes. Volinski said there were eight or nine other write in candidates who received a couple of votes, but Cornine received enough to fill the open seat.

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