There are two very important school elections coming up this month. Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton residents both go to the polls on May 19 to cast their votes for school board candidates and the 2009-10 budget.
For both communities, when it comes to the school board, there is a great deal at stake this year.
Here in Sag Harbor, four candidates are vying for two seats on the board. These candidates no doubt have very distinct opinions on how the school district should be run. On one side, there are two candidates who are also members of the Noyac Civic Council, a group that has been particularly vocal in its criticism of the school district — especially when it comes to how taxpayers’ money is spent. On the other side, we have an incumbent school board member (and a parent of Pierson graduates) running as well as a newcomer to school board politics – a father of two young children just starting their education in Sag Harbor.
In Bridgehampton, there are seven candidates squaring off for three available seats and lines have been drawn in the sand with three of those candidates coming out in favor of closing the high school and tuitioning those students out to other districts. The four other candidates strongly support maintaining Bridgehampton as a K-12 facility and want to see the school build on its growing reputation and success as more out of district parents opt to pay tuition to send their children there.
Regardless of which candidates you may be favoring, the facts remain — there are two clearly defined sides emerging in both of these school board races. It will take a mandate from the people to determine which way the districts will go. This is why we strongly advocate that residents of both Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor make a concerted effort to get to their respective “Meet The Candidates” nights that will be offered this week in advance of the elections.
Sag Harbor’s “Meet the Candidates” forum will be this Friday at 7 p.m. in the Pierson High School Library. Bridgehampton’s will be offered on Monday night at 6 p.m. in the Bridgehampton School gymnasium.
Remember, the biggest job that any voter has is to make an informed decision when pulling the lever in the voting booth. In Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor, the single best opportunity to see all the school board candidates in action comes this week at the “Meet the Candidates” nights. This is your chance to ask questions, consider the issues and evaluate the responses of those who may or may not represent you when the votes are tallied at the end of the day on May 19.
It’s your school district — your fixed income — your hard earned tax money — your children we’re talking about here. You owe it to yourself and the rest of us to take it seriously and make an informed decision at the polls.
And while you’re there, check out the great art on the walls.