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Story - Education

May 11, 2010 3:39 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Taxes up 10.6 percent in Montauk; Hausman runs unopposed

May 11, 2010 3:39 PM

The Montauk School faces the biggest budget hike in East Hampton this year, driven to a large degree by increased tuition costs and retroactive tuition payments for students in the district who attend East Hampton High School.

Montauk’s 2010-11 budget calls for an 8.2 percent spending increase, to $17.97 million. The tax rate is expected to increase 10.6 percent, to $51.28 per $100 of assessed valuation.

A homeowner whose property is valued at $5,000 can expect to pay $2,563 in school taxes next year, an increase of $246.40, while a homeowner whose property is valued at $10,000 can expect to pay $4,634.70 in school taxes, an increase of $492.80 over this year.

The district is expecting to spend $5.2 million to send students to East Hampton High School next year—nearly a $1 million increase from last year—in addition to $662,871 in retroactive tuition payments for the 2008-09 school year, which was the first year that the school used a New York State Board of Education formula known as the Seneca Falls formula to calculate its tuition rate.

Montauk administrators and School Board members are quick to point out that about three quarters of the spending hike is due to the increase in tuition to East Hampton High School.

The School Board has spent the past two months whittling down extracurricular programs, including after-school and summer programs, summer music and some bus service to and from East Hampton. The School Board has also voted to consolidate Middle School volleyball and basketball teams.

Members of the board are advocating for Project MOST, a non-profit group that runs after-school programs in East Hampton, to establish a presence in Montauk in lieu of the district’s own after-school program.

The vote will be held at the school at 50 South Dorset Drive on May 18 from 2 to 8 p.m.

School Board President Diane Hausman will be the only candidate on the ballot next Tuesday. Ms. Hausman, who serves on the board of directors of the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation, is also a member of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee. She has been an active advocate for the school throughout the budget proceedings, talking frequently about the sacrifices the district has made due to East Hampton’s tuition charges.

“It has been a really tough year,” she said at a recent School Board meeting. “Our children have had to suffer programmatically because of the increase in tuition. This is the first time in the 15 years I’ve been here that I’ve seen it affect the kids.”

Montauk resident Jennifer Rasi this week announced a write-in campaign for Ms. Hausman’s board seat. Ms. Rasi, who works for Telcordia Technologies as an executive director of operations and services engineering, is the mother of two young girls age one and four. Her older daughter is enrolled to attend pre-K in Montauk this fall.

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For the first time in my life I'm going to vote against a school budget even though I have school aged children. There is a lot of finantial hardship in our community at this time. The teachers union needs to help us out on this one. Every cut made directly affected the children. Each time a contract is negotiated the union mantra is"it's for the children". Lets see them put THEIR money where their mouths are for a change!!!
By montaukman (98), easthampton on May 12, 10 6:18 PM
Montauk uninformed man----First of all, the teachers' union negotiated their contract in good faith and are under no obligation and no responsibility to not take their raise. If the budget is voted down, more cuts will be made at the kids' expense. The problem with budget is all related to the high school tuition. Without the tuition increase, the Montauk budget would have increased three percent, with the teachers' getting four a percent increase. Don't punish the kids. I don't have school age ...more
By earl (31), springs on May 15, 10 12:56 AM
Write in JENNIFER RASI FOR SCHOOL BOARD
By earl (31), springs on May 15, 10 12:57 AM
We must let our pockets dictate what we can afford or we risk no longer being able to live here. It seems every time taxes go up two distinct groups emerge responsible, elected officials feathering their own reelection nests or unions who only look out for their members not the children or the taxpayer. I may be uninformed but if you add the step increases raises are at least 5%, that is 20% more than an informed person like yourself Earl' so stop peddling your nonsense and start telling the truth.
By montaukman (98), easthampton on May 16, 10 6:54 PM
I think you're being a little dramatic about being able to afford to live here.... we live in a town with one of the greatest disparities between house value and property taxes. Granted, we get damned little for our taxes, but at least, I feel the school taxes are worth it. The county and, of the course, the town taxes and benefits from are quite dubious.

I am not a union member, and I feel unions hurt our country, but voting against the school budget will only hurt the kids. I highly doubt ...more
By earl (31), springs on May 17, 10 2:25 PM
Earl, you aren't fooling anyone with your female profile photo, masculine name, Springs hometownlisting and tthe red herring for Jennifer Rasi. You are clearly a Montauk School employee or spouse of one that is sitting pretty just waiting for the next big salary increase to come your way. And may you or your spouse even coaches a team or runs a club that gives you another big boon to your savings.

Here's a little 411 for you Earl...

No one is saying that the EHUFSD isn't the ...more
By Montauket (7), Montauk on May 17, 10 8:33 AM
I urge everyone to go online and get a copy of the Montauk Teachers' contract between today and when they vote tomorrow and see how this current board has given our store away and will continue to do.

If you can't see your way clear to vote for Jennifer Rasi in case you don't know her, throw in Mickey Mouse just as long as Ms. Hausman doesn't get back in. It will give us 365 to work towards getting out the next incumbent and the next and the next.

Save Montauk for the future...VOTE ...more
By Montauket (7), Montauk on May 17, 10 8:37 AM
Also, montauket, I would bet you did not raise your kids here, if you have them.
By earl (31), springs on May 17, 10 2:33 PM
Montauket----you are quite off base as to my association to Montauk school.....if you knew me me you would be quite surprised, your assertions are truly laughable....I am a fair person though.....look, in a perfect world, the teachers' wouldn't take their pay increase. In light of the current economic climate in the US, it would be a great gesture for them not to. But, the contract was negotiated fair and square and, at least from what i know, no guns were put to anyone's head to agree to the contract. ...more
By earl (31), springs on May 17, 10 2:07 PM
Earl, I have to say that you do sound like a fair and intelligent person. And you are correct that the Montauk teachers contract was negotiated in good faith. And in a perfect world the teachers should have seen it in their hearts to give back or take a freeze or something. The bewildering part to me, with all due respect Earl, is that you seem convinced that the teachers are only going to get a 4% salary increase. This just isn't the way teachers contracts play out though. Sure, they will get ...more
By Montauket (7), Montauk on May 18, 10 8:17 AM
I understand how teachers' salaries are added up. The 4% is the increase to the base salary. The rest is something they choose to do extracurricular. And teachers do pay alot of taxes. Not a lot of cash floating around the schools, as in most businesses. The whole problem about voting down the budget is that it will come at the kids' expense. I be willing to bet my last dollar that the teachers are not going to vote down their pay increases to save programs. Just my opinion.

As for the ...more
By earl (31), springs on May 18, 10 1:41 PM
I'd like to know who you are....I have a feeling I know and we'd get a laugh if we confirmed each other's identity....maybe one day....over a Dewars or something
By earl (31), springs on May 18, 10 10:32 PM
Montauket, it seams to me that you think teachers are rich. Teachers are NOT rich. Yes they are payed respectable professional salaries for their work, but most people in the profession do it because they love working with kids. It costs alot of money to live in this area. Community jobs such as teachers and police need to be filled. The salaries paid to teachers in this region are proportional to others in areas of similar affluence. I am not saying that the teachers should not recoginize the economic ...more
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on May 18, 10 10:43 AM