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May 16, 2018 10:22 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Faces Join Most School Boards In Eastern Southampton Town

May 16, 2018 10:45 AM

School district budgets were uniformly approved on Tuesday night, but new faces will be on many school boards in the eastern part of Southampton Town this year.

In the Southampton School District, newcomer Michael Medio of Water Mill was elected to the seven-member School Board for his first four-year term, with 694 votes. His opponent, Charles Styler of North Sea, received 480 votes.

Mr. Medio is replacing former School Board member Heather McCallion, who left her post on the board following the 2017 election.

Mr. Medio was sworn in on Tuesday night immediately after being elected—Southampton has been operating as a six-member board for nearly a year—so he can start his duties right away. Among his first tasks: helping to put together a plan for a new administration building, after voters rejected a $5.2 million plan to purchase a Southampton Village home and convert it into administrative offices.

While the failure of the measure was disappointing to district officials, the proposed $70.4 million budget was approved in a 743-534 vote.

The rest of the propositions on the ballot—authorizing the school district to spend as much as $480,000 on two 60-passenger buses and four 20-passenger vans, to spend approximately $2.1 million from its “2007 Ten-Year Capital Reserve Fund” on building improvements, spending $407,800 for the district’s participation in the Southampton Youth Association for the 2018-19 school year, and spending $220,000 for programming and services contracted with the Southampton Historical Museum—were approved.

In Sagaponack, newcomer Lauren Thayer was elected to her first three-year term on the Sagaponack School Board with 64 votes. The seat on the three-member board was vacated by longtime member Joseph P. Louchheim, publisher of The Press News Group, who decided not to seek reelection after serving three terms.

Ms. Thayer beat newcomer Diana Payne, who received 26 votes.

On Tuesday night, Sagaponack taxpayers also approved a $1.54 million budget in an 84-1 vote. Propositions to allow the district to sign tuition contracts with the East Hampton and Sag Harbor school districts were approved.

In Sag Harbor, newcomer Jordan Sobey was elected to the board for her first three-year term, after receiving 389 votes on Tuesday night. She is replacing board member Stephanie Bitis, who did not seek reelection.

Ms. Sobey will be joined on the School Board by Susan Schaefer, who was also elected for her first three-year term, with 436 votes. Ms. Schaefer was appointed to the School Board on January 9 to replace Tommy John Schiavoni when he left his seat in December 2017 after being elected to the Southampton Town Board.

Additionally, taxpayers in Sag Harbor approved a $41.8 million budget on Tuesday night in a 353-162 vote.

In Tuckahoe and Bridgehampton, familiar faces will be returning to the school boards.

Taxpayers in Tuckahoe voted incumbent Sean Hattrick to the School Board, with 242 votes. He currently is chairman of the board and will be beginning his second three-year term.

District voters also approved the $21.2 million budget in a 190-79 vote. Additionally, the remaining three propositions passed on Tuesday night—including proposals to use money from the Construction Capital Reserve Fund for various projects around the school, and the authorization to spend $55,000 to participate in the Southampton Youth Association for the 2018-19 school year, and to spend $8,000 for the district’s participation in the Parrish Art Museum.

In Bridgehampton, all three incumbents—Ron White, Lillian Tyree-Johnson and Doug DeGroot—were reelected to their respective posts.

The proposed $16.3 million budget was approved in a 100-44 vote.

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