Members of the Board of Education and Great Neck Public Schools (GNPS) administration gathered together for the Annual District Meeting on May 21 to hear the final election results on two propositions and a trustee seat: the school budget, the Great Neck Library budget and Donna Peirez’s reelection.
District Clerk Jacqueline Lizza announced the results of both propositions, as well as the board trustee seat. Proposition One, the school budget, received 1,289 Yes votes and 257 No votes. Proposition Two, the library budget, had 1,199 Yes votes and 323 No votes.
The vote authorized the GNPS district budget for the 2019–20 school year in the amount of $234,418,944, as proposed by the GNPS Board of Education, by way of a tax levy for the sum upon taxable property in the school district, after first deducting the monies available from state and other sources.
Just as in prior years, when there was overwhelming voter support for the public schools, this year the community reached a remarkable 83.17 percent turnout in favor of the budget. This high percentage means that residents support the continuation of programs and staff, as well as the increasing Great Neck student population.
“I’m very pleased with the outcome,” said Assistant Superintendent for Business John Powell. “[I’m] grateful for the community support that continues for this school district year in and year out. [We’re hoping to] continue to satisfy…the residents of this district with [an] excellent instructional program and continued success for all of our students.”
Powell continued, “We are less than six weeks away from borrowing approximately $40 million for the capital work for this summer. A positive vote like this helps us to get a high credit rating. [The voter turnout] shows that the residents are satisfied with the way that their money is being spent. It will aid this district in getting the lowest interest rate possible, which will save the district money going forward.”
The library budget proposition indicates that the GNPS Board of Education will pay the library the sum of $9,493,125. This budget supports the community library’s four locations. The sum will be raised through taxes on taxable property in the district for the support of the Great Neck Library for the year beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
Donna Peirez’s Board of Education trustee seat was up for reelection, but she ran unopposed. Peirez received 1,227 votes in favor of her reelection, with 36 write-ins. Since her seat was uncontested, she will serve another three-year term on the board, which will run from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2022.
Vice President Donald Ashkenase expressed his gratitude to the community for supporting the budget.
“[We are grateful] to the community for its 83.17 percent Yes vote on the school budget. We couldn’t be more fortunate than to have such a fine Board of Education and administration to put together such a professional budget,” Ashkenase said. “And [for] the public to vote on it as they did for the 83.17 percent is [much appreciated].”
Of the 124 school districts on Long Island that voted, 123 passed their budgets. Great Neck’s approval rating was higher than Garden City at 82 percent, Roslyn at 80 percent, Port Washington at 77 percent, East Williston at 73 percent, Herricks at 71 percent, Jericho at 71 percent, Manhasset at 69 percent, Syosset at 69 percent and Locust Valley at 55 percent.