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Seven for Four School Board Seats in Sag Harbor; An Uncontested Race in Bridgehampton

Posted on 24 April 2013

By Kathryn G. Menu

With a budget vote and board election less than a month away, a field of candidates has emerged in the Sag Harbor School District, while at the Bridgehampton School it appears there will be no race for school board this year.

In Sag Harbor, seven candidates will vie for three full, three-year terms on the board of education, with a fourth term — the unexpired two-year term of Gregg Schiavoni who resigned earlier this year — also up for grabs. Incumbents Edward Drohan, Susan Kinsella and Chris Tice have all submitted petitions to seek re-election. Former board member Daniel Hartnett is also running for school board, as is audit committee member David Diskin, artist Jonathan Glynn and attorney Thomas Re.

The first proposition residents will also be asked to vote on is a $35,508,622 budget for the 2013-2014 school year. A second proposition will solidify the district’s practice of transporting students who live between one and 15 miles from the school they attend.

The third proposition will authorize the district to repair and reconstruct the elementary school roof, the Pierson High School gym roof and the Pierson High School bleachers at an estimated maximum cost of $1,113,600 with $240,000 coming from the 2013-2014 budget, and $873,600 covered through the existing “Facilities Renovation Capital Reserve Fund.”

The budget vote and board election is scheduled in Sag Harbor for Tuesday, May 21 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

In Bridgehampton, the budget vote and board election will take place the same day, between the hours of 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

Lawrence LaPointe and Gabriela Braia will both seek re-election to the school board, with board member JoAnn Comfort not seeking a second term on the board. Jennifer Vinski will also seek office for the first time.

The three candidates will vie for three seats on the board — two three year terms and the unexpired one-year term of former board member Elizabeth Kotz. The board appointed Braia to Kotz’s seat following her resignation last year.

The Bridgehampton School Board was poised to adopt its budget of $11,212,635 last night. The board has also agreed to float a proposition on the ballot this May allowing the district to extend its transportation policy to allow busing to private schools as far away as the East End’s only Catholic High School, McGann-Mercy in Riverhead.

The issue has been an ongoing debate in the district for almost a year now, since a group of parents asked the school board to provide their children transportation to McGann-Mercy, six miles over the state’s 15-mile limit the district is required to bus private school students.

In late January, three mothers submitted a petition — which contained over 100 signatures — asking the board to put a proposition on the May budget ballot to extend the busing limit from 15 to 25 miles. In March, the BOE approved this proposition, placing the decision in the hands of voters.

The wording of that proposition or any other measures on the ballot were not available as of press time as the board was expected to finalize those propositions at its meeting on Wednesday night.

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