Charles Styler, a former Merchant Marine officer and a resident of for more than 50 years, is making a run for the School Board for the second consecutive year.
Styler, 72, is a part-time A/V technician for Southampton Town and he owns his own video business, CAST Productions. He has worked for the Navy on research vessels and holds a U.S. Coast Guard officer's license as well as a first-class FCC license, which allows him to serve as chief radio officer on any vessel in the world, he said. He has also worked for IBM and ARCO Marine.
Styler has five children who have attended Southampton Schools. His oldest daughter, Lisa Milby, is a teacher upstate.
Styler said he does not want to be the kind of School Board member who sits back — he plans to be very active.
“I’ve had such a vast experience around the world — all kinds of things," he said. "It seems to me that would go a long way in working on the School Board."
Styler said the School Board and administration have often been critical of costly mandates from the state and federal governments, but he does not see anything being done about them. He suggests that rather than complaining, a committee be formed with representatives from Long Island school districts to identify onerous mandates and pressure Albany for relief. The time and money required by mandates — sometimes just to fill our paperwork — is consuming resources that could be spent educating children, he said.
Styler said there are many issues coming up that the School Board needs to tackle, including adhering to the state's 2 percent tax levy cap over the next few years. He proposes keeping the district's Budget Advisory Committee active as a standing committee to keep a check on how money is being spent. “From what I see, we can’t afford to waste even a dollar,” he said.
Styler also wants to see more technology in district schools to enhance the abilities of teachers.
“I want to see the kids get the best possible education they can in Southampton,” while also keeping costs down, Styler said.
He said he opposes firing teachers to meet a budget — he would rather move teachers around the district schools than let anyone go — and he opposes plans for a new administration building, which he said he does not see as benefiting the children. The School Board has decided not to put a bond proposition for the building on this year's ballot.
Two School Board seats are available, one for a full five-year term, and the second for an abridged term of four years. The candidate with the most votes will receive the longer term. There are no incumbents in the race. School Board President David Dubin is not seeking re-election, and former member Amy Pierson stepped down shortly after to take a job with the school district.
Styler is competing with , and write-in candidate .
The election will take place May 15 in the music room from 10 a.m to 9 p.m. Voters will also .