$98.2M school budget voted in for Mineola

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Christine Napolitano, Mineola school board president, and Brian Widman, trustee, were re-elected to the Mineola school board on Tuesday. (Photos courtesy of candidates)

Mineola’s $98.2 million 2018-19 school budget was voted in with 553 votes on Tuesday.

The budget received 229 no votes.

Two incumbent trustees, both unopposed, were also re-elected.

Christine Napolitano, a Williston Park resident, received 628 votes, and Brian Widman, a Roslyn Heights resident, received 564 votes.

The budget is a 3.97 percent increase from the current budget and increases the tax levy by 1.96 percent.

The budget includes $4 million in transfers to capital projects.

A portion of the $4 million will go toward districtwide security upgrades, including a driver’s license scan and visitor badge system, panic buttons on the walls, and automated locks on all first-floor doors in the interior of the high school.

At an April budget hearing, Superintendent Michael Nagler said the automated locks will likely be expanded throughout the district in the future.

This will be Napolitano’s fourth term on the board.

In a previous interview she said she’s often asked “haven’t you had enough?”

The time-consuming job, though, is a rewarding experience Napolitano is not looking to give up.

“People talk about volunteering sometimes in foreign places, and that’s awesome and I respect everybody that does that, but I very much believe in sometimes you have to look in your own community, your own block, your neighbors, and see what can you do to make your community a better place to be,” Napolitano said.

Widman, who has two sons in the district in fifth and eight grade, said in a previous interview that he can hear firsthand issues facing students.
 One goal Widman said he’d like to see accomplished in his next term is more of an emphasis on penmanship.
“Both of my children, they still have to write on the iPads, but it’s very, very sloppy,” Widman said. “And I don’t know that handwriting or penmanship would make a difference, because it didn’t with me, but it’s something that I’ve heard from parents that they’d like to see.”

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