Roslyn votes yes on budgets, incumbent school trustees

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Voters on Tuesday approved 2015-16 budgets for the Roslyn School District and Bryant Library and re-elected three Board of Education trustees to three-year terms.

The school district’s $103,851,841 budget was approved 741 to 207, while the library’s $4,980,336 in expenditures passed with a 736-208 vote.

“I think ultimately it’s just another statement that supports what I’ve always thought, that this is a great community to work in because it consistently supports education,” said Superintendent of Schools Dan Brenner, who following this year will leave Roslyn for the same position in Darien, Conn. “That’s something I’ll always hold dear.”

Incumbent Board of Education trustees David Dubner (675 votes), Adam Haber (648 votes) and David Seinfeld (602 votes) won new three-year terms. 

Village of Roslyn resident Mindy Kim, who challenged for a trustee position, received 481 votes.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve the Roslyn community on the Board of Education,” Dubner said in an e-mail. “I will continue to advocate for strong schools and student achievement in a fiscally responsible manner.” 

School Budget

Among the largest school spending increases in the coming year is a $400,000 spike in the district’s technological infrastructure, through which Roslyn would increase its bandwidth, complete its disaster recovery project, continue its rollout of the high school and elementary school-level iPad program, develop its cloud-based storage system and continue to install security cameras and wireless access points throughout the district, officials said. 

In formulating the budget, district administrators said they did not eliminate any programs or costs suggested by subject coordinators, and even added four positions —  an assistant director of facilities to handle the implementation of Roslyn’s $41.3 million capital bond, a high school guidance counselor whose primary responsibility would be to match students with scholarship opportunities, a data coordinator for more in-depth reportage to the state Department of Education and an elementary school guidance counselor.

Salaries and benefits account for nearly 80 percent of Roslyn’s school budget, with 4.13 percent going toward materials, supplies, textbooks and equipment.

The district is anticipating about 90 percent of its revenue in the next year to come from property taxes, with less than five percent ($5,063,165) coming from state aid.

Roslyn has had a 1.24 percent average tax levy increase over the last seven years, district officials have said.

The school budget also carried three additional propositions also approved Tuesday: A five-year lease agreement on three vans and two school buses that would cost $160,000 annually, known as Proposition 3; the establishment of a new 10-year capital reserve fund which would hold a maximum of $10,000,00, known as Proposition 4; and the of $1.3 million from the district’s 2011 capital reserve fund, known as Proposition 5, for additional projects not included in Roslyn’s $46 million capital plan, which includes $41.3 million in bonding.  

Bryant Library

Bryant’s budget calls for $4,860,836 to be raised in taxes — a 1.4 percent increase from last year and the remaining $119,500 in non-tax revenue to come from the use of the library’s fund balance, grants, state aid and various fees.

All but $906,583 of the budget is set to go toward staffing, including $2,787,600 in salaries, $435,469 in retirement obligations, $212,594 in Social Security/Medicare payments, $473,260 in health insurance and $45,330 toward workers compensation.

About $117,050 will be put toward building operations, which trustees said includes the $32,000 replacement of a flat roof and other various repairs, while $120,000 will be put toward capital improvements.

The library plans to spend $366,695 will toward materials, including books, magazines and digital literature.

School board

Dubner was appointed to the board in 2013 to fill the remainder of the term vacated by former Trustee Dani Kline. Voters that same year upheld his appointment in an uncontested race in which he received 588 votes.

Haber, a restaurateur and commercial real estate investor who in the last two years has run as a Democratic candidate for Nassau County Executive and the state Senate, has served two terms on the school board, having been elected in 2009. 

Seinfeld, the assistant superintendent for instruction in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, was elected in 2006.

In separate interviews with the Roslyn Times, all three incumbents said maintaining fiscal responsibility and the training and transition of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Allison Brown to superintendent of schools in 2016-17 would be the top issues facing the district in the coming years.

Kim is a co-president of the Korean American Parents Society of Roslyn and chairs the district’s multicultural committee at Harbor Hill Elementary School, Roslyn Middle School and Roslyn High School, where her three children are enrolled.

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