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Friday, October 31, 2014
Elmont: Vote 'yes' on the budget; re-elect Maffea

Elmont’s $83.7 million 2014-15 school spending plan will fund the current educational needs of its students, and maintain current class sizes and summer programs. The cost? An extra nickel per day for the average taxpayer.

Maintaining important programs such as Model United Nations is crucial. The district’s Saturday Academy program and after-school tutorial sessions were spared cuts, and the district will eliminate a total of only four teaching positions from its six buildings without enlarging classes. That’s a model of efficiency. The spending plan should be approved.

Return Maffea to his board seat

Board of Education Trustee Anthony Maffea, Sr. has proven that he can strike a critical balance between board and community, and should be re-elected to his seat so he can continue doing so.

School board members must be honest and open, and the decision of Maffea’s challenger, the Rev. A. Guiton Burt, not to disclose his hometown, teenage child’s name or even his age doesn’t inspire confidence. The first thing a first-time challenger must do is properly introduce him or herself to residents, before trying to convince them that he is capable of being their voice. Burt has done neither.

Maffea’s stated priority to maintain educational programs in a difficult tax-cap world is admirable, and he has expressed his displeasure with the ever-increasing burden of tests on our children, an issue that is important to parents. Burt has made no mention of it. Instead, he suggested that the board consider a bond, similar to Sewanhaka’s, to renovate its six buildings. That is not a realistic goal, or even one that addresses the district’s critical needs at the moment.

The clear choice for voters is Maffea.

(Because Trustee Deniece Walker was unavailable for an interview, the Herald is endorsing neither her nor her challenger, Raymond Sims.)

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