School budgets pass in Oyster Bay and Locust Valley


The proposed Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District budget of roughly $58.7 million passed last night. And incumbent trustees Laurie Kowalsky, who received 644 votes, and Todd Cronin with 610 votes, were reelected. Both did not face a challenger for their seats on the board.

Three propositions on OBEN’s ballot were also approved by voters: the spending of $686,000 from the capital reserve fund for technological improvements; utilization of $972,000 from a reserve fund to be used for capital improvements; and the spending of $2.51 million from a reserve fund for a new turf field.

The proposed budget represents a 1.98 percent increase over the 2018-19 budget and a 1.92 percent increase in the tax levy — the amount of money a district will collect from taxpayers — which is below the 2 percent tax cap.

Last year’s budget of approximately $57.6 million was a 2.32 percentage increase over the 2017-18 budget. And the tax levy increased by 1.72 percent.

The Locust Valley School District proposed budget of $87.3 million was also passed. Incumbent Margaret Marchand was reelected with 979 votes, and newcomer Dr. Joseph A. Zito garnered 1,032 votes, guaranteeing that he will serve as a trustee. The term for both will be three years.

The 2019-2020 budget is a nearly two percent increase from last year’s budget. The district’s proposed tax levy, 1.85 percent, was touted as one of the best on Long Island, where the average tax levy is 2.53 percent, and in Nassau County, an average of 2.31 percent.

The Locust Valley School District’s budget breakdown is as follows: 73 percent will go toward programing; 15 percent will be part of the capital budget; and 12 percent for the district’s administration. Additionally, the district will not cut any programs. It is in fact expanding programs and instructional opportunities for students throughout the district.