This Tuesday residents in the Mamaroneck School District will have more on the ballot than the school budget.
In addition to passing the first budget under the two percent tax cap law, residents will also be casting their votes in the first contested school board election since 2006. With the addition of independent candidate Victor Gatti onto the ballot, a total of four candidates will be competing for three available board seats. The other candidates—which have been vetted by the Mamaroneck Selection Committee—include . Board members Anant Nambiar and Linnet Tse will not be running for reelection this year, and Nichinsky's second term is ending.
At a recent debate hosted by the League of Women Voters of Larchmont-Mamaroneck, Gatti appeared confident that—despite his lack of experience on community boards—he would bring a fresh perspective to the board’s decision making process. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said, continuing, “What the committee might decide is best for the village is not necessarily right; you have 30 to 40 people at most making the decision. Click and for the full debate.
Another item to be voted on will be a $9.5 million bond to fund the district’s five-year capital plan for urgent repairs to Larchmont-Mamaroneck schools. Click here for a to be completed.
Working within the two percent tax cap, the —at $124,295,897—is a $1 million decrease from the last year’s budget, however, due to the decreased value of assessed homes in the district and an increase in property tax challenges, the “slice of the pie” each taxpayer will be asked to contribute has increased. Taxpayers will pay approximately $372 more per year on an average assessed home at $20K. In order to stay within the tax cap, the district weighed two potential cost-cutting options: outsourcing their current transportation department to Ardsley Bus Company or converting private school students to public transportation. Although there were community objections to both options voiced at public meetings, ultimately, the district settled on the former, for an $844K savings.
If the budget doesn’t pass, however, the district will be faced with a potential $1.2 shortfall in the contingency budget, equivalent to 11 teaching positions. The school board has warned that more draconian cuts will be forthcoming if this occurs
The budget/capital plan/school board vote will take place Tuesday, May 15 from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. at your local elementary school. Absentee ballots must be picked up no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, May 14 at the District Clerk's office. Please visit the Mamaroneck UFSD website here for more information.