‘Meet the Candidates’ night at Riverhead school board meeting

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | School board vice president Greg Meyer and Riverhead superintendent Nancy Carney at Tuesday night's school board meeting.

It was “Meet the Candidates Night” at Tuesday night’s Riverhead school board meeting for two candidates running uncontested for two vacant seats on the school board.

Susan Koukounas, the first candidate, is a former member of the PTO and co-founder of the Riverhead WAVE Foundation, a non-profit group that will seek to raise money for district programs.

Ms. Koukounas, an Aquebogue resident who now works as a math professor at Suffolk County Community College, said the district should “preserve, enhance and promote new educational programs that will provide our students with the tools needed to be a successful and contributing citizen of our society.”

Ms. Koukounas also said the district should look towards doing all it can to give students backgrounds in science, math and medicine to prepare them for work in a “global economy,” despite the difficulties posed by state-mandated tax cap legislation and decreases in overall state aid.

Candidate Tom Carson, owner of the Riverhead Country Kitchen on West Main Street, was unable to attend the meeting, board members said.


The school board also held a public hearing on the proposed 2012-13 school year budget up for vote May 15, though only one resident spoke.

Angela DeVito, a South Jamesport resident and former member of the school board, asked how increases in the expected state aid the district would receive would be used in the nearly $111.8 million proposed spending plan.

Ms. Carney said the school will bring back three teaching positions from the 22 employees cut in mid-February, adding that while the specific positions haven’t been decided yet, the district will focus on reducing class sizes in the K-2 program and bringing back an elementary school special education teacher.

The budget will go up for a vote on Tuesday, May 15. Polls open at four polling locations across Riverhead from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., the same locations used during the school bond vote last year.

Taxpayers can go onto the Riverhead Central School District website or call the district offices at 369-4724 to learn where their polling place is.


The board also unanimously approved two work order changes to construction work being done on the new Riverhead Middle School elevators.

The first change adds roughly $14,100 to the original amount of $1,103,500 to match the windows near the elevator while the construction is taking place. The added cash will pay for contractors to install the windows and provide temporary weather protection until they are installed.

The second work change order adds just over $6,500 to contracting costs to pay for changes made to the elevator footing.

School officials said the change work order was needed because the existing footing near the new elevators was deemed to be about four feet deeper than originally planned. The elevator footing must be brought down to the existing depth to prevent “lateral forces from being placed on the existing foundation wall,” according to the resolution.

The $6,500 will be used to pay for labor and materials to align the existing and new footings for the elevators.

District superintendent Nancy Carney said the elevators should be “mostly complete” by September.

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