Sachem budget passes, entire slate backed by union wins

LAKE RONKONKOMA, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — The voters of the Sachem Central School District approved the Board of Education’s proposed spending plan for the next academic year.

The Board put forth to the voters a $333,362,903 budget for the 2020-2021 school year. The proposal had a tax levy increase of 2.49%, which was within the district’s allowable tax levy cap, and represented a budget-to-budget increase of 1.87%, according to the Board of Education.

The budget proposition won with 7,027 votes in favor and 3,387 votes against.

In addition to the 2020-2021 spending plan, the Board of Education put a second proposition on the ballot to use funds from the district’s capital reserve for facility projects. Voters approved this plan with 7,875 votes in favor and 2,425 votes against.

SCTA Campaign Sign

The entire slate endorsed by the Sachem Central Teachers' Association (SCTA) won the three available seats. 

The voters selected three trustees to serve three-year terms on the nine-member Board of Education beginning July 1. The winners were James Mancaruso, Robert Scavo and Matthew Baumann. The entire slate endorsed by the Sachem Central Teachers' Association (SCTA) won the three available seats.

The three seats presently held by Larry Collins, Mancaruso and Dorothy Roberts were up for election. Mancaruso won reelection, Collins lost reelection and Roberts did not run for another term.

OnSachem profiled all the candidates ahead of the election. The profiles are available here. The results for each candidate are:

  • James Mancaruso – 5,523 – Winner (incumbent)
  • Robert Scavo – 4,790 – Winner
  • Matthew Baumann – 4,703 - Winner
  • Stephanie Volpe – 4,073
  • Larry Collins – 2,982 (incumbent)
  • Kristin Gelzinis – 2,562
  • Carol Locklin – 1,820
  • Jon Siegel – 1,271

This year’s vote was conducted only by absentee ballot in accordance with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order because of the pandemic. To be counted, school budget ballots could be accepted by hand delivery through 5 p.m. June 9 or received by mail through June 16 at the school district office. 

The district reported 10,414 ballots for the budget this year during absentee voting, which was more than double the 4,130 ballots received for the budget vote last year during the in-person voting.

The Propositions

Proposition No. 1: 2020-2021 Proposed Budget (APPROVED)

RESOLVED, that the annual budget for the SACHEM CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT for the fiscal year 2020-2021 in the total amount of $333,362,903 as proposed by the Board of Education in accordance with Section 1716 of the Education Law shall be approved, and the necessary tax be levied thereof upon the taxable property of the School District.

Proposition No. 2: Capital Reserve Fund Expenditure (APPROVED)

This proposition is to utilize funds from our Capital Reserve, which has no financial impact on the voter. Shall the Board of Education of the Sachem Central School District be authorized to expend the sum of $5,990,032 from the Capital Reserve Fund 2019 established on May 21, 2019 for the purpose of performing the following projects: HS East Retaining Wall & Erosion Control, HS East Turf Field Replacement, HS East Running Track Replacement, HS East Fire Alarm System Upgrades, HS North Turf Field Replacement, HS North Locker Replacement, HS North Chimney Reconstruction, HS North Loading Dock Drainage Improvements, Sagamore Running Track Replacement, Sagamore Band Room Reconfiguration? All the foregoing to include all labor, materials, equipment, apparatus and incidental costs related thereto.

Budget Highlights (provided by Sachem Schools)

  • Proposed budget is once again within the district’s allowable tax levy cap and represents a budget-to-budget increase of 1.87%.
  • Maintains all current programs and services. Upholds commitment to student-focused instructional programs and opportunities for all students.
  • Adds two ENL teachers to support various student needs.
  • Replaces outdated technology, facility equipment and other needs, including: Smart Boards, projectors, large format printers, radio station transmitter, drones, PC workstations districtwide and additional computer carts with devices.
  • Replaces athletic equipment that is beyond its useful life, including: field hockey goals, lacrosse goals, MS portable bleachers, baseball turtle cages and volleyball net systems.
  • Maintains current athletic opportunities.
  • Replaces outdated facility equipment, including: leaf loader, multiple facilities and security vehicle replacements, scissor lift, automated pool cleaners, electronic signs and multiple storage units.

Capital Spending Highlights (provided by Sachem Schools)

  • Partial roof replacement at Sagamore Middle School.
  • Roof replacement on "H" wing at Samoset Middle School.
  • Renovate and enlarge main hallway bathrooms at Sagamore Middle School.
  • Renovate cafeteria storage at Sagamore Middle School.
  • Remove little theater projection booth and create storage room at Sagamore Middle School.
  • Purchase six full-size buses.

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