Vote Tuesday for Connetquot budget, trustee and second proposition
The residents of Bohemia, Oakdale and Ronkonkoma will head to the polls on Super Tuesday for the annual budget vote and for one trustee seat. There is an extra proposition on the ballot for a proposed capital project. The polls will be open on that day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Connetquot High School, Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School and Ronkonkoma Middle School.
The total proposed budget, which sits within the state cap, is $194,047,128 and below the district’s allowable tax cap limit. On an average assessed house of $50,000, the impact for taxpayers will be an extra $21.56 a month. The district indicates that the annual tax impact is estimated based on 2018/’19 assessed valuations, which is the most recent assessed valuation available. The 2019/’20 assessed valuations are not available from the Town of Islip until July 2019.
This time around, a capital project is also on the ballot. The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $45,758,075 and if approved, is projected to have no additional tax impact on residents. The district noted that this is because the new debt associated with the proposed bond referendum will essentially replace the old debt from previous bonds set to expire. Coupled with New York State Building Aid – which stands at 67.6 percent for Connetquot – and a $9,690,913 allocation from the district’s capital reserve fund, it is projected that the district will be able to fully fund the bond without impacting taxpayers.
Jaclyn Napolitano-Furno is running unopposed for the one open seat on the school board. The lifelong Ronkonkoma resident is a 1996 graduate of Connetquot High School. Now married and the mother of two children in the district, she said the time was right to get onboard.
Napolitano-Furno is a police officer and after serving with the NYPD for a number of years, transferred and is now on the Village of Oyster Bay police force, where she serves as vice president of the PBA there. She is an anti-bullying and drug awareness spokesperson for youth in both her jurisdiction and beyond, and has often traveled to schools to speak about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.
“I’ve had a unique career and skill set,” she recently explained. “The things I’ve done have everything to do with youth. That’s important because they are our future.”
As a member of one of the district’s PTAs, she attended many Connetquot School Board meetings and witnessed a somewhat dysfunctional board, where there wasn’t the accord she had expected. “I didn’t like the way things were running on the board,” she said, noting that as a result of that disharmony, parents were not attending meetings. That’s when she decided to run for the seat.
“If you want something to change, you have to be a part of it,” she said. “I’m hoping to mediate and get [the board] back to a calm, productive environment.”
Napolitano-Furno supports the opt-out movement. As a board member, she would advocate for more and better school security, smaller classroom sizes and for more programs that address the mental health of students. And she said she’d also work to protect tax dollars.
“I’m going to make the best decisions for a majority of people,” she said. “But I’m doing this for the children. We owe them and our community better things.
“I’ll always try to be a positive voice for them.”
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