Riverhead school officials to present budget at Phillips Avenue

03/15/2011 10:58 AM |

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Phillips Avenue Elementary School in Riverside

Taxpayers will once again have the chance to comment on the Riverhead School District’s $110.3 million budget for 2011-12 at Phillips Avenue Elementary School tonight at 7 p.m.

Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney officials will be presenting the budget at all district schools until it is adopted by the board April 12.

At last week’s meeting at Riverhead Middle School, no parents commented on the budget, which calls for 40 layoffs including 15  teacher positions.

The spending plan carries a 1.96 percent spending increase over last year’s $108 million budget, though the tax levy — the amount of cash the district collects from taxpayers — is expected to jump 5.97 percent from $82.7 million this year to $87.7 million in 2011-12.

A copy of the budget presentations is available on the district’s website.

Voter registration will be held May 9 between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. and on May 10 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

A budget hearing is scheduled for May 10 in the Riverhead High School auditorium.

Taxpayers will vote on the budget May 17.

vchinese@timesreview.com

742 Comment

  • No, no, NO!

    You KNEW these kinds of tax increases were likely and that’s why you tried to shove through the bond bill.

    How about this, we’ll agree to raise taxes to the same extent the union agrees to pay cuts. Take a 5% pay cut, and we’ll accept a budget that raises taxes by the same amount.

    Why should taxpayers who are predominantly private sector workers take all the fiscal pain?

  • ..and Vera, enough with obsessing over “no parent commented” on the budget. So what? Would “comments” result in a decrease in bloated staff salaries or golden parachute benefits? Staff is 91% of the school budget and no amount of commenting is going to accomplish anything.

    Why oh why does the News Review feel it needs to be a cheerleader for raising taxes at a time when real people, real families are hurting under one of the highest school tax rates in the nation(top 2%)?

    We’ll comment on May 10th.

    Brace yourself for having to make do with the same amount as last year, and if the union won’t agree to modest reductions in pay and benefits, then let the axe fall.

  • The budget will pass

  • The budget will pass

  • Why are you bugged because the reporter reports?I myself was wondering why Parents didn’t talk..I know why it’s not a coach…..
    You know if a Parent said Mr.So and So is a great person and I hate to see him go ..That would be nice and make the Teacher feel better.
    So back off the Reporter for just reporting on what happened…..It’s her job!

  • I think the “no parent commented” part is highlighted because it’s a link to the previous story, not because they were obsessing on it.

  • I second that as well. It might be mentioned because the public will generally comment on agenda items, especially a budget presentation

  • Gee, lets see. The *HEADLINE* of the previous article featured the fact that no comments were made, and an entire paragraph was dedicated to discussing that element of the story. Now, it’s mentioned again in the body of the story, along with a link to the previous story using “no parents commented” as the highlighted hyperlink.

    Vera clearly sees this as a major factor in this story, and the subtext is clear: “You taxpayers didn’t say anything at the meeting, so whatever the outcome it’s your fault.” as if any amount of commenting could change the fact that at the root of this increase it’s the union’s extortionate demands and the spineless school boards who do nothing to represent the taxpayers in the district.

    Riverhead’s school taxes have risen an absolutely unjustifiable average of 170%(!!!) the rate of inflation for the last 20 years, but this paper won’t mention that….or that the average teacher’s compensation package now exceeds the average *household* income in the town by 50%.

    To make matters worse, despite huge rises in the budget, we will lose teachers and programs in order to maintain bloated salaries and benefits for the staff who remain. I guess givebacks to save a few staff positions are out of the question.

    How much does the News Review and the other district cheerleaders think is enough? 10% more a year? 20%? Maybe we should just double property taxes and pay every teacher a starting salary of $300,000. After all, even if that means people lose their homes it’s “for the children”.

  • NR,

    You are absolutely obscene and you do not provide any data to back up compensation packages or starting teacher salaries

  • Last year all Administrators took no raises and from what I understand it will be the same for this budget for next year.Also the Teachers could concession and the teacher assistants..In fact every part of the District had some kind of concession.
    As far as Parents not questioning the bottom line is the taxpayers weren’t there to ask questions..I asked last night…in fact other than the Board members that asked questions I was the only outsider that asked and i have no more kids in the school.
    This budget increase is 1.96%..Last years was 2.15% and teachers were released last year also.However with the large amount of retirees we had made room to have some of them to come back.
    Not one Board Member or Administrator said its for the Children this year..which by the way I hate just like everyone else.
    Heres a fact and yes it does piss me off the State Mandated pension costs for Employee retirement and Teacher retirement is increasing at 39% for this budget next year.Your Friend Vera reported it I’m sure ….Our reduction in State Aid in Riverhead is 14.2% .
    If we weren’t mandated to pay this retirement stuff our budget increase without that payment would be -0.01%.
    The reason Vera wrote what she wrote and sent you to the last report was because last night was a repeat of the week before with the exception of what a contingency budget is nothing special happened…..All the budget meetings are the same just trying to inform all parts of the community .

  • seethroughny.org has all the district salaries in black and white. Of course, you’d like to limit this discussion to “starting salaries”, which in isolation look pretty reasonable, rather than 5 or 7 years into the job when compunding raises make these compensation packages rocket.

    These are some of the highest paid teachers in the country.

    Academic outcomes are mediocre at best.

    So here we are, paying for a Rolls Royce education (Around $20,000 per student per YEAR!) and getting a Yugo outcome. The only thing obscene about this situation is that people like “Bob” expect us to just shut up and keep paying more in taxes for nothing in return.

  • I hope you have some salt handy, because you’ll need something to make you words more palletable before you eat them.

  • “NR”,

    You were the one that mentioned starting teacher salaries and I feel education is worth the investment.

  • I think it is going to be a uncertain and toilsome future for School Administrators and Teachers as the budgets shrink and the layoff’s and cutbacks begin. When NYS, Suffolk County, and Town Governements across the East End state that they are having fiscal problems, there is going pain felt by the Public Sector Employee’s.

  • I won’t have to eat them, because I am right.

  • Are the pensions that are balooning out of control and causing homes values in Riverhead to plummet worth the investment?

  • Funny how everyone is blaming unions for poor financial planning by local and state governments. When the private sector was riding high and the economy was doing well, our governments where happy to put money in their pockets. Instead of putting money aside for bad times, (when things were going well they where not contributing hardly a dime to pensions costs) they spent it all. Now its pension costs that are killing the government. Step up and take responsibility. Yes, the government has a big nut to swallow as far as pension costs go, but stop blaming the union workers. These people took lower paying public jobs for the fact they had a pension rather than more lucrative private sector jobs. That is sound thinking on their part. Now that the private sector is in shambles and the state and local government failed to think ahead, it is not the fault of union workers. Put the blame where it belongs, on the political system. Stop trying to take away from a future that some where smart enough to plan for.

  • Funny how everyone is blaming unions for poor financial planning by local and state governments. When the private sector was riding high and the economy was doing well, our governments where happy to put money in their pockets. Instead of putting money aside for bad times, (when things were going well they where not contributing hardly a dime to pensions costs) they spent it all. Now its pension costs that are killing the government. Step up and take responsibility. Yes, the government has a big nut to swallow as far as pension costs go, but stop blaming the union workers. These people took lower paying public jobs for the fact they had a pension rather than more lucrative private sector jobs. That is sound thinking on their part. Now that the private sector is in shambles and the state and local government failed to think ahead, it is not the fault of union workers. Put the blame where it belongs, on the political system. Stop trying to take away from a future that some where smart enough to plan for.

  • “When the private sector was riding high”….

    More blah blah blah, can’t you teachers and cops come up with a different line? When the private sector was riding high we could afford your ridiculous salaries and benefits. Now we can’t—deal with it! We were downsized, laid off, let go, our benefits and salaries were cut, now it’s “trickling down” to you. WE CAN’T AFFORD YOU. “Yes it’s a big nut to swallow”. When are youo leeches going to swallow your own nut? WE CAN’T AFFORD YOU ANYMORE!!! WE’RE BROKE!