"Education is what remains when one has forgotten what one has learned in school."

- Albert Eienstein


2018 North Shore Schools Board of Education Trustees Election 

Budget Vote and Election of Trustee Details

Date: Tuesday, 05.15.18
Time: 7am-10pm
Location: North Shore High School Library

who or What are we voting For?

Short Answer:

  1. Two Trustee (Board Member) Positions. Candidates are Tim Madden, Lisa Vizza, Anthony Stanco, and Andrea Macari. 
  2. Proposition 1 - The 2018-2019 School Budget
  3. Proposition 2 - Transportation Distance Limits
  4. Proposition 3 - Capital Reserve Fund

Here is a link to information about the candidates directly from North Shore Schools. 

Long Answer:

  1. Two Trustee Positions: Trustees are locally elected, public school advocates, and all around heroes. These representatives manage the important school district tasks. Chief among these tasks is electing the Superintendent, but it doesn’t stop there. (See below question re: school board functions for the deets.)
  2. Proposition 1: 2018-2019 School Budget: This is an important one. As you know, Joe Taxpayer is responsible for footing the bill to run our schools. As such, we all get a say in what the proposed budget is - all with a vote. Superintendent Dr. Giarrizzo’s Budget Adoption Presentation can be found here which goes though it in detail. 
  3. Proposition 2: Transportation Distance Limits: Some propositions are sexy, this one is not. Don’t be thrown by the fancy language - this sounds way more complicated than it is. The BOE is asking permission to modify its public school transportation eligibility, (i.e. whether or not a kid is eligible to hitch a ride on the big yellow school bus) for Grades 9 - 12 from the existing 1.5 mile limit to 1 mile for the next school year. This modification would be at no additional cost to the District, but they must seek community approval before making any change.
  4. Proposition 3: CapitalReserve Fund: The capital fund is like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow only there's no leprechaun to deal with...no rainbow either actually...just money...paper money...not gold. Where was I? Right, this proposition asks for permission to spend a sum not to exceed $3,443,912, for the following projects at no additional cost to the District:

      1. Installation of air conditioning in the library at GH and GWL

      2. Installation of air conditioning in the cafeteria at GH, SC, and MS

      3. Installation of air conditioning in the auditorium at GWL 

      4. Installation of air conditioning in the gymnasium at HS

      5. Replacement of the entire cafeteria ceiling and installation of new LED lights at HS     

    So you basically need to ask yourself how much sweat you think your kids or your neighbors' kids can handle and vote accordingly. If funds are still available after the completion of the projects listed above, supplemental projects will include: (1) Install exhaust fans in the hallways and stairwells at SC, and (2) Install windows in the second floor hall at SC. All of the projects listed above will include labor, materials, equipment, apparatus, and incidental costs.

Who can vote?

Short Answer:

18+ U.S. Citizen who lives in the North Shore School District

Long Answer:

Besides being a legal adult and a U.S. resident, you also need to be a resident for 30+ days prior to the voting date. So if you’re just DYING to vote in the North Shore School Board election, and you DON’T live in the district...the ship has sailed and you are (sadly) SOL until next year. But hey, the Sea Cliff real estate market is overflowing with affordable, adorable, move-in ready homes just waiting for you to sign on the dotted line. LOL - JK.

What does the School Board do anyway?

Short Answer:

The School Board runs the public school system in their school district. They are not responsible for spell checking your tweets, so stop asking them already!

Long Answer:

The School Board’s job is never done. Besides ensuring that students in their district receive top education for tax dollars spent, these folks have a steaming pile of education initiatives and business issues on their plate, including:

  • The hiring of a Superintendent. 
  • Creating the curriculum and developing school policies
  • Maintaining, improving or fixing facilities (think things like fixing roofs, updating playground equipment, removing asbestos, etc.)
  • Adopting collective bargaining agreements (hello teacher unions)
  • Managing the budget that makes all these things possible (see more about this below).

And as if this wasn’t enough responsibility, these folks manage these tasks while maintaining a level of accessibility and allowance for public input that sent Richard Simmons into an early retirement.


Who are these people, do I pay their salaries, and how long do they get to hold this position?

Short Answer:

The School Board is comprised of seven elected members, all volunteers, who serve 3-year terms.

Long Answer:

The current board consists of the following members:

  • President: Antoinette Labbate *
  • Vice President: Sara Jones
  • Trustee: Dr. Herman Berliner *
  • Trustee: Dave Ludmar
  • Trustee: Marianne M. Russo
  • Trustee: Joanna Commander
  • Trustee: Richard Galati

*Denotes position up for (re)election.

These people donate countless hours of time and mental energy to the well-being of the schools they serve. Yep that’s right, you pay zero dollars for these services. And when they sign up it’s for a three-year stint. Trustee elections rotate every two years so that no board is fully and completely replaced - you know, continuity and all that.

Um - Where is the Superintendent in all that?

Short Answer:

The Superintendent is part of the central administration, not to be confused with the School Board. If the school district is a Fortune 500 company, the Superintendent is the CEO and the School Board is the board of directors.

Long Answer:

The Central Administration is in charge of the day to day operations of the school district. The school board sets policies, goals and objectives for the district, and then holds the Superintendent to implementing them. The Central Administration is made up of the following peeps:

  • Superintendent of Schools: Dr. Peter Giarrizzo
  • Assistant Superintendent for Instruction: Robert Chlebicki
  • Assistant Superintendent for Business: Olivia Buatsi

I have Hamilton tickets May 15th, can I still vote?

Short answer:

Not sure if “Hamilton Tickets” falls under NY State’s qualifications to vote by absentee ballot, but in general absentee ballots do exist for those who qualify.

Long answer:

First, you need to get an absentee ballot application form. You can get one in person or by mail from the office of the District Clerk at 112 Franklin Avenue in Sea Cliff. The application must be received by the District Clerk by May 8 (at least seven days before election day) if the absentee ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or by May 14 (1 day before election day) if the ballot is to be picked up in person.

Completed absentee ballots must be delivered to the Office of the District Clerk no later than 5 PM on May 15 if you want your vote to count - which we're assuming you do!

What is covered in the budget?

Short answer:

What’s not covered in the budget, amirite?

Long answer:

No, seriously - what’s not covered in the budget is probably an easier question to answer. In its most simple definition, the painfully detailed school budget explains and justifies spending for any and allllll the things that keep the school running. That can include things as simple as utilities and as complicated as curriculum, staff development and counseling services.

How does the budget affect me? 

Short Answer:

If you own property in Sea Cliff, you are paying school taxes to the North Shore school district. Each year, the School Board will put forward a Budget Proposal, or plan to spend your dough. If passed, the budget is funded through a tax levy, or the revenue that’s raised from all the property owners in the district. Budget increases are paid through increased tax levies.

Long Answer:

“Taxes?! Boo! None for me, thanks. I’ll just vote no on this here budget.”  - said a Sea Cliff resident who either forgot home values are linked to the quality of schools, or simply doesn't care. Sorry Super Saver Sea Cliffer, we like low taxes and maximum benefits too, but voting no on the budget won't lower your taxes. If community voters fail to pass a budget twice, the district by law will be forced to adopt a budget with the same or lower tax levy as the prior year - essentially a zero percent increase. You will be paying the same taxes at a minimum, but if that last approved budget was lower than what the BOE proposed for the current year, expect some budget cuts.

Good news for people who want to invest in their schools, but also still be able to afford nice things like food, clothes, and shelter - there is a tax levy limit. For school districts, the tax levy limit is the highest allowable tax levy that a school district can propose as part of its annual budget. Only a simple majority of voters (50% + 1) is required for budget passage. Any proposed tax levy amount above that limit requires budget approval by a supermajority (60 percent or more) of voters.

I don’t have kids in the school system, give me one good reason I should care about this vote?

Short Answer:

To paraphrase Lady Gaga...you've got a hundred million reasons to walk away, but baby, you just need one good one to vote: because it’s your money they are spending.

Long Answer:

You only asked for one good reason. We gave it to you. Move on. No seriously, why are you still reading this. Stop. Now.

Where can I read more about who’s who and what’s when in the North Shore School District?

Short Answer:

Are you saying we haven’t covered your question yet? We don’t believe that’s true.

Long Answer:

Okay fine. If we really haven’t answered your question, you can find gads of info about board members, employees, volunteers and scheduled events here on the North Shore School District website. It’s a rabbit hole of info. If you like knowing stuff, you can get lost for hours clicking around these pages.

If you still have questions, hit us up here. We have a potentially concerning obsession with chasing down info and will jump at the chance to show off our skillz.