By Tessa Raebeck
The mood was considerably lighter at the monthly meeting of the Bridgehampton School Board on Wednesday, June 18. After months of worry over piercing the state-imposed tax cap, there was relief the day after the community approved the district’s $12.3 million 2014-15 budget on the second try.
“It’s been a great year overall,” said Dr. Lois Favre, who is completing her first year acting as both principal and superintendent for the district. “Despite our budget fight, it’s been a great year. I think it’s a good feel in the building, morale is good.”
The budget, which pierces the state-mandated tax cap by 8.8-percent, failed to gain the required 60-percent supermajority in the first communitywide vote on May 20. After a grassroots get-out-the-vote effort by the board, administrators and other supporters, it passed with 62 percent June 17.
Lillian Tyree-Johnson, a member of the school board, extended her compliments to Dr. Favre, business administrator Robert Hauser, and district clerk Tammy Cavanaugh at last Wednesday’s meeting.
“During this revote process,” she said, “it’s been really grueling and you guys have handled it with incredible grace. It was really a tough time and I commend you all for absolutely answering questions with ease.”
“The transparency is impeccable as well,” added Ronald White, president of the school board. “Any question that you guys were ever given, you guys were able to answer it. It was clear and people totally understood, I understood it.”
Also at the meeting, Mr. Hauser updated the board on facilities improvements around the Bridgehampton campus. The bulk of capital projects take place over the summer, so as not to interfere with instructional time.
New equipment for the playground has been ordered and the renovation should be completed by August 15, several weeks before the start of school.
A Bridgehampton resident donated a playhouse to the school that board members are quite impressed by.
“I was actually thinking about moving my office in there,” Mr. Hauser joked.