Gasps and tears erupted at the Glen Cove High School lobby when Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maria Rianna announced that the proposed $78 million bond, intended to fund improvements at the district’s six schools, failed in Tuesday’s vote.
The bond was split into two propositions. According to unofficial numbers, Proposition No. 1 received 1,102 votes in support and 1,325 votes in opposition. Proposition No. 2 received 1,048 votes in support and 1,339 votes in opposition. Residents could have passed the first proposition without the second. This is the second time this year the bond has failed to pass.
"I have no words right now," Rianna said as she tried comforting distraught parents who were frustrated with the results.
“I can’t believe 223 votes defeated it,” Board of Education Vice President Monica Alexandris-Miller said, referencing the outcome of the first proposition.
The Glen Cove City School District hoped to use the funds to address “critical needs” at the schools. The schools’ ceiling tiles, which are no longer manufactured in the U.S., are deteriorated and have been falling to the ground. The outdated doors at the schools also posed significant safety issues in the buildings, as were the lack of fire safety doors in the stairwells. The bond would have helped the school pay for the upgrades and also address overcrowding at the Deasy and Connolly Schools, relocate two classrooms that are in the basement at Landing School and bring elevators in the Landing and Gribbin Schools up to compliance with the American with Disabilities Act.
Carolyne Dilgard-Clark, one of about a dozen people who gathered at the high school when polls closed at 9 p.m. to hear the results, said that she was disappointed in the results. Dilgard-Clark felt that because local residents were going to experience an increase in local taxes from the city’s proposed 2020 budget, and because New Yorkers had also lost access to State and Local Tax deductions, residents were adamant to accept another increase to their taxes in the form of the school bond. All together, both propositions would have raised the average homeowner’s taxes by $36 per month.
“I don’t think this outcome represents the City of Glen Cove,” Dilgard-Clark said. “Most people here really care about the kids.”