Now that the dust has settled a bit two days after proposed we want to hear from you — the voters who decided against the budget, the parents of children in the Oysterponds School District, and the observers who have seen years of political strife amongst board members and administrators at the tiny school of less than 100 kids.
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 Tuesday night. 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.
The seven-member Oysterpond School Board is no stranger to conflict. Recently, the issue of whether or not Oysterponds should allow parents the option of sending their kids to for secondary schooling has been the main source conflict. Commenters on election 2012 stories on Patch have questioned the motivations of board members for allowing this secondary school choice, some citing elitism and racism.
new Superintendent Joan Frisicano said she believed many people voted the budget down not because they disapproved of the budget, but because they disapproved of this ongoing talk of allowing parents to bus their kids to and from a school district 30 minutes to the west.
To newly re-elected board members Krista de Kerillis, the failure to pass what seemed like a reasonable budget was 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.”
So, as the board prepares to recover from Tuesday night’s failure and move forward with 2012-13 budget plans, we ask you — what would you like to see happen at Oysterponds to improve the political climate and, ultimately, the education of its children?
Feel free to take our poll and / or comment in the boxes below.