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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Brookhaven: BOE Results

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Rocky Point 

The at large election results are as follows: 

Susan Sullivan 595* 

Erin Walsh 515** 

Nick Contes 514 

Nicole Kelly 485 

Susan Wilson 258 

Jason Ford 221 

*Elected to a three-year term 

** Walsh gets a one-year term created by the early resignation of Sean Callahan. 

The budget passed by a vote of 1,017 – 322. 

Mount Sinai 

The at-large election results are as follows: 

John Hnat 733* 

Anthony Mangione 699* 

Samantha Dreyer 458 

Alexis Fliller 208 

*Elected to a three-year term 

The budget passed by a vote of 944 – 275. A separate budget proposition passed to authorize the reduction of the nonpublic maximum transportation mileage limit from 29.5 miles to 15 miles. 

Sachem 

The at large election results are as follows: 

Alex Piccirillo – 2,642* 

Laura Slattery -2,041* 

Christopher Buckley Jr. – 1,759 

Kelli Burnham – 1,782 

Bryan K. Felice – 1,879 

Kristin Gelzinis – 1,682 

Meredith Volpe -1,916* 

Stephanie Volpe – 1,892* 

*Elected to a three-year term 

The budget passed by a vote of 3,148 – 1,590. 

Patchogue-Medford 

Francis Salazar and Thomas P. Donofrio ran unopposed. The budget passed by a vote of 954 – 680. 

Analysis: 

The Township of Brookhaven saw a full breadth of different types of school board races. There were uncontested elections that in traditional fashion were low turnout with an expected passage of the budget. There were also highly competitive elections, mimicking races elsewhere in the county, bringing out unseasonably high turnout with at times unexpected results. 

Embattled incumbent Alex Piccirillo won his at-large election. Piccirillo had the backing of the Sachem Teachers Association and the Suffolk County Police Benevolence Association. He received the most votes out of any of the candidates running for election. 

In Mount Sinai, candidates running on a parental rights and pro-accountability platform defeated Dr. Samantha Dreyer, a psychologist. The Mount Sinai example shows the powerful culture war forces still at play animating these local elections propelling candidates to victory.

However, with the immediate effects of the pandemic subsiding, the results across the county have boded poorly for some candidates running on the ‘parental rights’ platform. In the Smithtown CSD and the Kings Park CSD, candidates backed by the NYSUT affiliates had a strong showing, defeating the more conservative candidates in the race. It was a shock for Smithtown politicos, who were expecting a repeat of last year’s election in the Smithtown CSD. 

The diversity of outcomes, campaigns and reasons for running shows that each community has its own unique set of motivators. Lumping all school district races into one category does no justice to the actors involved or the individuality of the district. With district’s such as Patchogue-Medford that have remained apolitical and the defeat of some candidates running on ‘parental rights’ platforms, it might be a hint that the high turnout school board elections were just a pandemic novelty. However, with some parents more engaged for the long hall, they may remain, especially in today’s hyper partisan environment.

Brian R. Monahan
Brian R. Monahan
News Editor for The Messenger Papers.