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Tuckahoe Voters Reject $17.8M Budget; Steudte Defeats Grindle

Proposition to expend funds replacing pipes also fails.

The 's failed, 228-275, on Tuesday, and former School Board member ousted incumbent by an 8-vote margin.

Steudte received 220 votes to Grindle's 212. At least 71 voters abstained from deciding on a candidate.

Under the proposed budget, the tax rate was projected to rise by 9.54 percent to $7.23 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The tax rate increase was pushed up by a 4.91 percent dip of the total assessed value of properties in the district, meaning the impact on homeowners whose property values decreased would have been less than 9.54 percent.

Inclusive of collected property taxes and STAR reimbursement from New York State, the tax levy was budgeted to increase 1.99 percent. According to the district’s budget brochure, the increase could have been as high as 2.7 percent while still adhering to New York State's new tax cap.

In 2011, the Tuckahoe budget .

School Board Chairman Robert Grisnik said the board members had done everything they could to keep the budget increase down, and when they have their next meeting Monday they will discuss what comes next. "The board has to sit down and go over this vote and see what we have to do pertaining to the law," he said.

Asked for his assessment of why the budget failed, Superintendent Chris Dyer said, "The community voted with their hearts."

If the budget, after a revision, is defeated a second time when put to a vote June 19, the district will be forced onto a contingency budget, with a 0 percent spending increase.

Voters also rejected a proposition to expend $465,000 from the district's capital reserve fund to replace heating pipes. "They're old and they need to be replaced," Grisnik said.

He added that National Grid is slated to visit the school to assist with attaining grants to switch from oil to gas heat.

The new piping proposition received 120 votes in favor and 222 against, and at least 161 voters abstained.

Voters did, however, approve sending Tuckahoe 9th through 12th graders to Southampton and Westhampton Beach high schools, and they signed off on $54,386 for the district's participation in the Southampton Youth Association, and $7,868 for participation in the Parrish Art Museum.

Propositions Yes No Budget 228 275 Expend $465,000 from the capital reserve fund for new heating pipes. (No effect on tax levy)
120 222 Tuitioning 9th- through 12th-graders to Southampton and Westhampton Beach High Schools 293 208 $54,386 for the district's participation in the 281 221 $7,868 for the district's participation in the . 268 230 School Board Election Steudte, 220 Grindle, 212

For the Sag Harbor School District voting results, . For Southampton School District results, . For Bridgehampton and Sagaponack, .

David D'Agostino May 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Rich, firstly, the population you refer to is not Spanish. Spaniards come from Spain which is a European country. Secondly, the makeup of the school is what it is. The district is undergoing a demographic change, just like much of the rest of the country. Each and every child who attends Tuckahoe is a student. There is absolutely no evidence that the children attending Tuckahoe do not have a right to be there and the school is not in trouble because of the number of children in attendance. Scapegoating Latinos immigrants is always the fall back of those too lazy to take a serious look at the real issues facing our schools. It does not solve our problems, only creates new ones by attempting to divide the community.
David D'Agostino May 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM
gj, You are conflating two issues. I assume you are referring to the proposed Morrow Shopping Center - that proposal has nothing to do with commercial development in a commercially zoned area because the developer is looking to have the zoning changed to suit his own needs, not those of the community. It is a well known fact that the shopping mall will bring little more revenue to the school than if those same parcels of land (most of which are not yet even owned by Mr. Morrow) were developed under current zoning. The actual additional tax revenue estimate that might be generated by this spot-zoning request would be around 30 grand. The school now finds itself having to look for cuts totaling around $300,000.00 Should we build Morrow's mall and nine more just like it in Tuckahoe?
Ralebird May 17, 2012 at 11:15 PM
The two issues are intimately tied together - additional commercial development will bring revenues without adding to the school's burden. The "nimbys" and "bananas" will always have their say, but their desires do come with consequences. The amount of tax revenue for any particular development is strictly speculation before it takes place and the only "well known fact" is that opinions don't create facts.
Hazel Wilkonson the First May 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Hey,gj, your right, no one knows what the exact tax number will be from Morrow's mega mall, but I can guarantee you it won't be MORE than the fake number the developer throws out now.
dorothykaren May 22, 2012 at 03:38 AM
the school was far better academically years ago...look at the educational data. You get what you pay for. As far as grindle being honest, she's a liar and severely psychologically damaged.

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