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Plainview School Budget Passes Easily

Voters OK spending plan by 2-1 margin Tuesday; incumbents returned to office.

Plainview-Old Bethpage voters overwhelmingly approved the school district's Tuesday.

The $137 million budget plan was OK'd by about 66 percent of the voters, winning easily, 1,736-878.

The  budget also was approved, 1,801-774.

Longtime school board incumbents andran unopposed to retain their seats on the board. Rothman got 1,794 votes; Pierno garnered 1,871.

Library Board Member won her unopposed race to return to the Library Board. She earned 1,753 votes.

The new budget represents a modest 2.2 percent increase in overall spending. The plan would convert two part-time teachers into full time positions and expand the district's Chinese language program.

The tax levy, the amount to be raised through property taxes, would increase by 2.5 percent. That figure is well under the state’s so-called "tax cap," which is derived from a complex formula and changes from district-to-district.

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Board of Education members gathered at the for the vote tallies Tuesday night, a Plainview tradition. There were tense early moments, when the first machine counted showed the budget in a close race.

Moments later, the second and third machines showed the budget passing easily.

Board members were eager to learn the percentage of the budget victory. Plainview's budget this year needed only a simple majority to pass. But under the state's budget cap law, school officials wondered aloud whether this budget would have passed by the required 60 percent needed to exceed the cap.

"The day will come when we'll need it," said School Board President Gary Bettan, of the 60 percent majority.

The old gym at Jamaica Avenue, a building now leased to two day care centers, contained four voting machines. Just after the polls close at 9 p.m., elections officials opened the back of the machines and recorded each machine's results for the various races.

The district's two other polling places phoned in their results to Jamaica Avenue, and the outcome from each was scratched out on a chalkboard in the all-purpose room across the hall from the gym.

The Board of Education then convened a formal meeting and voted to approve the 2012-13 school budget. 

Tom May 16, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Joe - thanks for reporting this so quickly!
Joe Dowd (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Tom: No problem. Best. jd

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