On Tuesday, May 21, school district residents across the County will have the opportunity to elect school board members and pass budgets and other ballot propositions for their respective districts.

All eleven of Islip’s school districts will host elections on Tuesday. Check with your district clerk to determine which school is your polling place if your district has multiple campuses.

Bayport-Blue Point Union Free School District
Communities Served: Bayport, Blue Point, parts of North Patchogue
School Board Candidates: Mallory Dougherty and Paul Wright are running unopposed to succeed the seats being vacated by Julia Conlon and Adrienne Cirone, respectively.
Proposition 1: Approving a budget of $85,882,466

Bay Shore Union Free School District
Communities Served: Bay Shore, Brightwaters, West Bay Shore, small parts of West Islip and Islip hamlet
School Board Candidates:
Proposition 1: Approval of a $197,418,192 budget that carries a 2.2% tax levy increase.
Proposition 2: Approval of a $5,300,000 inter-fund transfer to capital for boiler replacements in up to five buildings, partial roof replacements at the high school, and additional cornice reconstruction at the high school.

Brentwood Union Free School District
Communities Served: Brentwood, Baywood, Edgewood, Pine Aire, North Bay Shore, parts of Bay Shore and Hauppauge
School Board Candidates: Trustee Cynthia Ciferri is running for re-election and faces Zed Key. Julia Burgos is running for re-election and faces Kimberly Johnson. Eileen Felix is unopposed for re-election.
Proposition 1: Approving a budget of $603,274,281 which does not exceed the tax cap.
Proposition 2: Approving capital expenditure for $1,400,000 from existing undesignated fund balance to purchase property at 1734 Brentwood Road in Brentwood, identified as SBL# 160.-2-71 on the tax map of the Town of Islip

Central Islip Union Free School District
Communities Served: Central Islip, parts of Islandia
School Board Candidates: The district did not make this information available to us.
Proposition 1: Approval of $294,039,062 budget that carries a tax levy increase of 1.5%.

Connetquot Central School District
Communities Served: Bohemia, Oakdale, Ronkonkoma, parts of Lake Ronkonkoma, Sayville, and West Sayville.
School Board Candidates: Both seats are open. Sal Napolitano and Brian Burger are running as the non-union-backed candidates, while Melissa Torregrossa and Marissol Mallon are running as the union-endorsed candidates.
Proposition 1: Approve or reject a working budget for 2024-2025 of $222,573,018, any State and/or federal funding notwithstanding, funded by property taxes within district lines. The budget carries a 3.29% tax increase, which does not pierce the district’s tax cap.

East Islip Union Free School District
Communities Served: East Islip, Great River, Islip Terrace, North Great River
School Board Candidates: Trustees Michael Dorgan and Stephen Ruland are running unopposed for re-election.
Proposition 1: Approving a budget of $126,053,938.43, a 0.23% increase from last year’s budget.
Proposition 2: Approving the establishment of a Capital Reserve Fund of $30,000,000 plus investment income for the purpose of masonry renovation, upgrades to plumbing, telecommunication and PA systems, replacements of ceiling tiles, roofs on District buildings, and doors/windows, flooring updates, and site works including, but not limited to, athletic field renovations, paving, curbs/sidewalks, renovation/reconstruction of interior and exterior instructional spaces, gymnasium spaces, and non-instructional spaces, abatement of hazardous materials, and/or the purchase of furnishing/equipment.
The term of the CRF is ten years.

Hauppauge Union Free School District
Communities Served: Hauppauge, parts of Islandia, parts of Smithtown hamlet, small part of Commack
School Board Candidates: Catherine Collins and Brian Michels are both running unopposed for two open seats.
Proposition 1: Approving a $133,216,224 budget that is a 3.48% increase from last year. It maintains present class sizes and programs, supports technology and security initiatives, continues student mental health programs, preserves college awareness and post-secondary opportunities, and maintains eight sections for universal Pre-K.

Islip Union Free School District
Communities Served: Most of Islip hamlet
School Board Candidates: Trustees Tom Leggio, Eric Buehler, and Paul Austin are running for re-election unopposed.
Proposition 1: Approving a budget of $100,075,388

Sachem Central School District
Communities Served: Within Islip Township, the district contains the Islip parts of Holbrook and Holtsville, as well as small portions of northern Bayport and northern Sayville
School Board Candidates: Incumbent trustees Vincent Reynolds, Michael Isernia, and Sabrina Pitkewicz are running for re-election.
Proposition 1: The proposed budget is a 4.7% increase, equating to a yearly property tax increase of $27 per resident. If passed, the budget of $377,326,912 would pierce the tax cap, and would retain the “current robust and award-winning fine and performing arts program for students K-12,” all current sports offerings, comprehensive mental health supports and resources for students, and all current co-curricular and club offerings.
If passed, the budget would also see a reduction of seventy-three positions districtwide.
If the budget fails on Tuesday, a secondary budget is slated to be put in front of voters on June 18. That budget would remain at the tax cap at 1.92%.
Proposition 2: Approving a capital expenditure of $5,387,500 for softball field reconstructions at Sachem East and North High Schools.

Sayville Union Free School District
Communities Served: Most of Sayville and West Sayville with small portions of Bohemia and Bayport.
School Board Candidates: Kelly Sack is running for re-election; she serves as the Board’s Vice President. She is being challenged by Teal Rizzo. Seats held by John Verdone and Carl Cangelosi are open. Kyle Valentine and Desmond Megna are running for Verdone’s seat, while Katherine Van Dom is running unopposed for Cangelosi’s seat. Louisa Kieffer is running unopposed for re-election as Library Trustee.
Voters have the option to cast write-in votes.
Proposition 1: Approve or reject the budget of $106,028,631. It would increase taxes by yearly property taxes by 3.7%. For a home assessed at $40,000, the budget would increase taxes by $375 annually.
Proposition 2: Approval of the Sayville Library Budget that would pierce the tax cap at a 3.95% increase. It would result in an estimated monthly property tax increase of $35.80 at a home assessed at $40,000.
Proposition 3: Approval of the Sayville Historical Society budget, which increases $1,000 to $56,000 for this fiscal year.

West Islip Union Free School District
Communities Served: West Islip
School Board Candidates: Debbie Brown and Richard Antoniello are running unopposed for re-election.
Proposition 1: Approve a budget of $138,761,990 that is 3.88% higher than last year’s.
Proposition 2: Approve $600,000 in capital reserves to fund phase one of boiler-burner control replacements and $260,000 for an orchestra room renovation.

Sal Napolitano and Brian Burger for Connetquot School Board

The Messenger endorses newcomers Sal Napolitano and Brian Burger for Connetquot Central School District Board of Education.
Two community men who have decades of civic involvement in the Greater Ronkonkoma Area and have either had or currently have kids in the Connetquot School District, we believe it’s time for new faces on the Board.
If either Napolitano or Burger were to capture one of the seats on the ballot, it would flip control of the five-member Board to a non-union-aligned caucus. While we certainly don’t denigrate union workers, we feel a new mode of control could prove useful in Connetquot, as it has over the last year in Smithtown.
Connetquot’s proficiency scores in certain subject areas leave much to be desired. Less than half of middle-school students are proficient in math, and only about 60% of elementary and middle schoolers can read at grade level.
The fact that both gentlemen have backgrounds in finance gives us confidence in their abilities to present honest, tight budgets. Furthermore, we have faith that both Napolitano and Burger will keep politics and social issues of the Board and carry out District business respectably.
We think Connetquot could do with a shakeup, especially as uncertainty looms in the wake of the State aid changes.
The Messenger endorses Sal Napolitano and Brian Burger for Connetquot Central School District School Board.

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Matt Meduri has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Messenger Papers since August 2023. He is the author of the America the Beautiful, Civics 101, and This Week Today columns. Matt graduated from St. Joseph's University, Patchogue, in 2022, with a degree in Human Resources and worked for his family's IT business for three years. He's also a musician and composer with his sights set on the film industry. Matt has traveled all around the U.S. and enjoys cooking, photography, and a good cup of coffee.