North Bellmore school budget fails to pass; Central District budget passes

Newcomers unseat incumbents on North Merrick Board of Education


Although the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District's — and three of its component district's — budget passed, and a number of incumbents were re-elected, Tuesday's elections held a couple of surprises.

Voter support did not reach the critical 60 percent needed to pass North Bellmore’s $57.2 million budget — the supermajority was required because of voter-submitted transportation propositions that would have pushed the tax levy beyond the state cap.

The proposition to expand public school transportation failed — as did one to limit transportation, and one to expand it for private school students — but the budget still needed 60 percent to pass, and garnered only 51.8 percent support. It will need to be voted on again in June, according to Mark Schissler, the district's superintendent for business.

Schissler said that even though the transportation proposition that would have pierced the tax cap was not OK'd by voters, because of state law, it had to be included in the budget.

The Board of Education will be meeting to discuss the next budget vote, and according to Schissler, there is the possibility of the budget being reduced before being sent back to voters.

And in North Merrick, newcomers Vincent Lentini and Michelle Gordon unseated incumbent Board of Education trustees Todd Ransom and Steve Enella, in a hotly contested race.

Central District Superintendent John DeTommaso thanked the community for their vote in a statement Tuesday night for supporting the budget, and Proposition Two, and congratulated the new or re-elected Board of Education trustees.

“As always, our staff will continue to strive for excellence both inside and outside of the classroom to help our students enrich, expand and enhance their educational experience and opportunities,” DeTommaso said.

Look for more later this week, and in next week’s Herald, on North Bellmore’s budget vote, and Lentini and Gordon’s victories in North Merrick.