Shoreham-Wading River district residents will vote today on a $62.35 million budget for the 2012-13 school year that leaves district programs fully intact while keeping the district under the state-mandated tax cap.
This would be made possible by using reserve funds.
Check back on riverheadnewsreview.com for live coverage once the polls close at 9 p.m.
The proposed budget, a 3.98 percent spending increase from this year’s spending plan, allows the district to continue all 43 electives in subjects like business, art, science and music. The spending plan would also keep the tax levy — the total amount the district can collect from taxpayers — at a 1.75 percent increase from this year.
District officials have proposed to pull $3.75 million from its reserve funds as tax relief, more than double the amount used to help fund this year’s school budget.
The reserve funds will be tapped into once the district’s fund balance — money saved from this year’s budget from circumstances such as reduced heating costs in the warm winter — is depleted.
The district has about $16 million left between its various reserve funds.
In addition to the budget vote, district residents will also vote on two additional proposals during the May 15 election.
Proposition 2, if approved, would allow the district to use excess funds from a 2009 Health and Safety Proposition to make repairs and improvements to district buildings.
School officials said the district saved nearly $1.14 million from the 2009 proposal, and would use the money to install new playgrounds at Wading River and Miller Avenue schools, make blacktop and curb repairs, as well as other repairs, and build a playground retaining wall at Briarcliff Elementary School.
Proposition 3 would give the board the authority to appoint a Shoreham-Wading River High School senior as a non-voting member of the school board.
The student, district officials said, would gain experience in “real government” while giving board members insight into the needs and opinions of current students.
The student member of the board would not be able to vote during board meetings and would not be allowed to sit in on executive sessions.
Three candidates are seeking two seats on the Shoreham-Wading River school board.
Anthony DeLouise of Shoreham is seeking his first term on the school board, running again after an unsuccessful campaign last year.
Mr. DeLouise owns a technology company and is an associate real estate broker. He has lived in the district for six years.
Mr. DeLouise says he opposes using state aid to fill gaps in the school budget and would use his business skills to bring district spending under control.
“It’s difficult but it has to start somewhere and I think it’ll benefit everyone in the long run,” he said.
Michael Fucito of Wading River is currently vice president of the school board and is running for re-election.
He has served on the board for 21 years and has lived in the district for more than 40. His three daughters are Shoreham-Wading River High School graduates.
Mr. Fucito said his major concern is the repair of district facilities, using state aid to fund maintenance and renovations to building roofs and fuel tanks.
“We still have a lot of facilities to repair,” he said.
Robert Rose, also of Wading River, is running for the first time for a seat on the school board.
He is an assistant principal at Smithtown High School East and has lived in the district for 10 years. He has three children in the district.
Mr. Rose said his educational background and experience will bring a “unique perspective” to the school board.
“I have the interests of the students in mind, yet I am sensitive to the issues of the entire community,” he said.
Mr. Rose said he is most concerned with repairing district buildings and finding “unfunded mandate relief.”
The Shoreham-Wading River budget and school board vote will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. today in the high school gymnasium.