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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.

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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