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Oysterponds Officials Stand Behind Budget, Want to Rebuild Trust

Board members say community does not trust the board of education but hope a contingency budget will not be needed after budget fails to pass.

Though board incumbent members Linda Goldsmith and Krista de Kerillis won their bids for re-election Tuesday night after polls closed,

The proposed $5,353,894 budget for 2012-13, which is $272,750 less than the 2011-2012 budget that stood at $5,626,644, failed by a vote of 192 yes, 253 no. The proposed tax levy increase of 2.5 percent falls right in between the tax levy increases of Southold and Mattituck-Cutchogue’s proposed budgets — and those districts passed by wide margins even with spending increases.

To de Kerillis, the failure to pass what seemed like a reasonable budget is the result of an ongoing distrust the Orient community feels toward their board of education.

“It just goes to show you that the community does not trust this board,” she said. “They’re not happy with what goes on with this board.”

The seven-member Oysterpond School Board has long been a unit rife with interpersonal conflict. In September of 2010, at the district’s lengthy and heated monthly meetings. Conflicts over former Superintendent also played center stage at board meetings in late 2010 / early 2011.

New Superintendent Joan Frisicano, who took over for Rachlin last year, said that she believed that many voters probably thought that the issue of whether or not Oysterponds should allow parents the option of sending their kids to for secondary schooling would be on the ballot. But she said that the much-contested issue will not be back on the table until the summer.

“Many people did not vote for this budget — they were voting on choice,” she said.

De Kerillis said she is more than happy with Frisicano and new principal, Francoise Wittenburg, who was also hired last year, but that board members need to work on rebuilding trust between themselves and the community.

“We obviously don’t have the community behind us and we need them to be,” she said.

Longtime board member Linda Goldsmith said she still felt confident in the budget the board has approved and did not feel that a contingency budget would have to be adopted.

“This is a very good budget and there will be no need for contingency and we will not lose any teaching positions,” she said.

The Oysterponds Board of Education will meet on May 22 at 7 p.m. at the school to discuss budget options moving forward into 2012-13.

linda goldsmith May 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
This is linda goldsmith, I did not say that that we would put up the same budget but a budget that is reworked. I did say that contingency would not be necessary. Thanks
Dick Leslie May 17, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Linda voted against the budget on the board. Linda campaigned aganst the budget while refusing to take a public position on the budget. She always likes to have it both ways. And now she claims she wants to see the budget put up for a revote? What cynical hypocrisy! The voters are likely to get what Linda has asked for, an austerity budget filled with unintended consequences which will all involve less education for the students of Oysterponds School. This is what newly re-elected board member Goldsmith asked for and that's what she is going to get.
Jennifer M. Loper May 17, 2012 at 05:09 PM
If you do not agree with what is put in front of you, you have the right to vote no. Everyone has a right to their opinion. I do not think that Linda was able to talk over 200 people into voting down the budget on her own. People are not happy with the choices that the board are making. That is why the budget failed. It is not because of Linda. There are many people with their own agendas that they are working towards, not necessarily for the community as a whole. The budget can be reworked without hurting the children's education. But, this is only MY opinion!
realativesanity May 17, 2012 at 05:56 PM
.The 2012-2013 school budget was a referendum on the choices made by the Oysterponds BOE. Seeing how the two incumbents were re-elected and the budget failed tells me that the Oysterponds community is dissatisfied with the "choice" agenda pursued by the likes of you and Dumont. You and Dumont along with Gray and a few other clowns have co-opted the Oysterponds School District and used it as vehicle to implement you own agenda. Guess what, it’s over now. Contrary to the statement made by Joan Friscano, the public was not confused about what was on the ballot; it was a vote of no confidence in the Board President and her cronies as well as a rejection of the agenda pursued by you.
Dick Leslie May 17, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Dear Relative Insanity I do not respond to people who leave annonymous venom on public websites.
realativesanity May 17, 2012 at 07:02 PM
That's ok, I don't co-opt people's candidacy and send out fliers to the community with their name on it without their consent.
Erin Schultz (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Thanks for the clarification Linda, we've corrected the quote. -- Erin
Cindy Goldsmith-Agosta May 17, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Oh my Dick.. sounds like you are a sore loser, in every sense of the word. I think that the people of Orient and East Marion have made their CHOICE. Sounds like to me you are having a tantrum. Stop spewing these lies around. You know for a fact that she did not campaign against the budget and I would like to meet the person who told you this... Maybe your the problem Mr. Leslie! Rumor has it that "your team" wants to go to an austerity budget to "teach" the community a lesson...
Cindy Goldsmith-Agosta May 18, 2012 at 12:07 AM
sorry for the error...you're
Joan May 18, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I hear there's a new vineyard going up in Orient. It will be called Leslie Vineyard. Only problem is ~ all the grapes are sour. I've known Linda Goldsmith for upwards of 50 years. She may be outspoken on some issues, but a liar she's not. I highly doubt she could fool almost 300 people but, even if she did, she's STILL on the Board of Ed. Mr. Leslie ~ DEAL WITH IT! ~ Joan Heaney Dinizio
Tina Goldsmith Quarty May 18, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Linda for an austerity budget? Do you know anything about her??? This is a woman who wouldn't let her children leave the house without finishing homework, quizzing them, reading time, etc. She was the woman when I came home with a 95 on a test asked my why I didn't get 100 and made sure I knew why I got 5 points off and what the correct answers were. This is the woman that pushes my 19 year old cousin to stay in college and tutors her when needed (Nassau County). She is the one that tutored my other cousin to get through high school tests. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't approve of austerity if children's education would suffer. With that being said maybe just think about the fact that Mattituck is miles away from Orient and having the choice is ridiculous. If Greenport was a bad choice, I would agree with the choice of schools, but I have yet to understand why it would be a bad choice. Imagine waking up half an hour earlier to get on the bus...to get home half an hour later from sports/clubs...to have to get a ride back during the evening to go to another club...to finding a ride home...what time is it now? When am I doing my homework or eating dinner or taking a shower?
Michael J. Roderick May 18, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Leaving annonymous comments on a public website in kind of like writing a letter to a newspaper and having someone else put their name on it...?
realativesanity May 18, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Thank you, I will take that under advisement.
Dan Fischer May 19, 2012 at 02:54 PM
The best way for the board to rebuild trust would be for a certain half of them to resign. They are clearly out of touch with the voters

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