The people have spoken. While Massapequa School District voters came out decidedly in favor of the $199,808,099 budget—approving it with 3,360 votes against 1,874 votes—they also shot down the proposed $15,344,302 aquatic center with 3,423 no votes and 1,818 yes votes.
The budget represents a 2.67 percent increase over last year and a 1.98 percent tax levy increase.
Jeanine Caramore and Kerry Wachter were elected to the trustee seats of Joseph LaBella and Maryanne Fisher, both of whom did not run for reelection. Caramore had 2,881 votes and Wachter 2,696 while fellow candidates Tina Cardali and Rose Stein had 2,247 votes and 2,031 votes, respectively. The board terms are for three years, commencing on July 1, 2018.
Caramore is an academic tutor, former attorney and a lifelong Massapequa resident, having graduated from the high school in the class of 1991. Now, she gets a chance to give back to the district that she says not only gave her a higher education, but taught her good citizenship.
“I’m very excited to be elected and honored the community is entrusting their children and how their tax money is spent in my hands,” said Caramore. “I think that’s a big honor and I’m excited to fulfill those goals.”
She said she hopes the board will be able to work cohesively to act as a liaison between the community and the school district in an effort to bring about the best programs for all of the children.
“I’m hoping to do more with respect to enriching curriculum to bring back a little more creativity and hoping to enhance the special education program and enhance safety protocols,” said Caramore. “I want to bring a more comprehensive mental health program and understanding of emotions and coping strategies….we need to be doing more across the board from the elementary to high school level to create confident students who don’t feel like they’re on the outskirts.”
Wachter is a 19-year Massapequa School District resident and currently works as a bookkeeper for Presbyterian Community Church in Massapequa and North Shore Community Church in Oyster Bay.
“I look forward to working closely with residents, the district, and my fellow board members to make sure we are offering the very best programs while providing the necessary budget oversight to ensure we are being fiscally responsible to the taxpayers,” she said. “What I would like to focus on during my tenure is ensuring educational excellence, school safety, revitalization of vocational education, evaluating our special education programs, and providing a more transparent and detailed budget. I am hopeful that our community can come together and move forward in a positive direction.”