FRANKLIN SQUARE: Approve the budget; return Fichtl to seat


The Franklin Square Union Free School District’s budget for next year, $36.3 million, will raise taxes by an average of $60 per home — significantly less than the $107 district officials initially estimated. Not only that, but key programs, such as pre-kindergarten and the iPad initiative, both of which were implemented in the past year, will remain intact in 2014-15.

The more quality programs that remain available, the more comprehensive and inclusive the learning process is, and the more prepared children are. The district has done an admirable job of assembling this spending plan, and residents should give it their “yes” votes.

Trustee Fichtl deserves another term

Joe Lewinger, the challenger for Jean Fichtl’s seat on the Franklin Square Board of Education, has some solid ideas. We like his desire to serve as a liaison between the board and the community. His suggestion to broaden the board’s outreach via social media is commendable, because it would no doubt lead to more community involvement. He is enthusiastic, personable and approachable — all requisites of any effective board member.

But all of those qualities still aren’t enough to trump the work that Fichtl has done on two separate boards — she is also Franklin Square’s representative on the Sewanhaka board. She has been coming up with ideas of her own that have benefited the district for nearly two decades, and has spent years building relations between the board and elected officials, in addition to community members. Given her experience, her knowledge of how to get answers to her questions and her apparent embrace of a daunting work load, Fichtl gets our enthusiastic endorsement.