School budget approved; challengers declare victory on Riverhead school board

Riverhead School District voters approved the proposed 2010-11 budget, which will increase spending by 1.99 percent over this year.
2,079 people, or 57 percent, voted in favor of the $108 million budget, with 1,571 people, or 43 percent, voting against it.
In the race for two school board seats, challengers Amelia Lantz, with 1,673 votes, and Jeffery Falisi, with 1,641 votes, were declared winners after the polls closed Tuesday night. Incumbent candidates Mary-Ellen Harkin, with 1,340 votes and Christine Prete, with 1,145 were defeated. Challenger Mary Meyer trailed the pack with 690 votes.
Residents also approved a proposition to authorize the expenditure of $1.34
million in capital reserve funds for an elevator and new roof at
Roanoke Avenue Elementary School, with 2,094 voting in favor of the move and 1,315 voting against it. The district already has the funds in its capital projects reserves, but needed voter approval to move forward with construction.
The district has budgeted for an estimated $1.5 million reduction in state aid, but the state has not approved its operating budget for next year. Superintendent Diane Scricca has vowed not to increase spending, no matter what the final state figures look like.