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Mt. Sinai Super: 'Expect Those Programs To Be Gone'

After budget fails, Mt. Sinai looks to make cuts to present a budget at the tax cap level.

The Mt. Sinai School District tried piercing the tax levy cap in order to keep its current program, but the , which means cuts to the program are likely.

"Obviously everybody’s disappointed, we’ve got to go through it again and spend some money," Superintendent Anthony Bonasera said. "The law is the law, 55 percent of the people voted on the budget and that was no longer the majority. That’s what we’re dealing with."

At previous budget presentations, the district , and now that the district must present a budget at the cap, Bonasera said residents should expect those cuts to be made.

"I would expect everything we spoke to the public about during our budget forums and workshops, I would expect those programs to be gone," he said. "Our budget only went up eight-tenths of a percent, the thing that killed us was on the revenue side, which we really have no control over."

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Mt. Sinai lost approximately four million dollars in state aid and assessment levy, according to Bonasera, and the district turned to piercing the cap in order to keep the current program.

"The board's postions was, we will give you an opportunity to vote on the existing program, which in order to fund it we had to pierce the cap...and the community spoke," Bonasera said. "We had almost 2,400 votes, probably 1,000 more voters than we’ve had in prior elections, of that 968 of them were parents of kids in school."

Bonasera points to the older demographic of the community and a lack of voting from the younger residents as another reason the budget did not garner the support it needed in order to pass.

"The younger people aren’t voting," he said. "I don’t know if it’s a situation where they think it’s going to pass or they’re saying 'my vote doesn’t count', but their vote does count."

The Board of Education and administration will hold an executive session on May 22 to discuss particulars of the new budget. A public board meeting is scheduled for June 13, a week before the budget re-vote on June 19. Bonasera said it is possible there will be another public session beforehand, but nothing has been decided yet.

Paul Kersey May 16, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Chris Cristie he's not (makes more, though).
Janet May 16, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Bonasera is living in "dreamland". What part of people do not have the money does he not understand? I guess because of how much he makes he doesn't realize that is not what most people make.
ShareTheSacrifice May 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM
The violin song is "always what's best for our children", yet when it comes time to shave excesses from our budget, administration cuts our kids first. If the administration was so concerned about our children coming first, then why do the they "eat first" leaving only the "scraps" over for the kids. They get their full plate and expect us to just keep serving it up. Their idea of sacrifice is giving up a portion of their annual raise--keeping most, mind you, when the rest of us are just hoping to keep the status quo. In the real world who gets a raise every single year in good times or bad? Only teachers and politicians. Why don't the teachers and administration show us how much they care about our kids and let them sacrifice for a change? But no, they want to "punish" the parents by taking away programs from our children. We taxpayers are expected to be grateful for the scraps from the administration's table!
Mount Sinai Homeowner May 16, 2012 at 10:56 PM
"sharethesacrifice" you really need to do your research. The teachers have made concessions, I am not aware of the specifics but I think they took a freeze, you should really checks your facts before you rant. They also upped their health insurance contributions.
Mount Sinai Homeowner May 16, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Furthermore the teachers and administrators are not punishing you, check the assessed value of your home and multiply that by .0476 I promise you it's not that much money. Everyone has money for what they want (nice clothes, fancy cars, cable tv, iPhones) but not always what they need. I don't even have kids but I voted yes and am proud of it. Do I want my taxes to go up? Not really Do I want to own a home in one of the "best" districts around? Absolutely I only hope we can bounce back from this!
Rich Arleo (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Concessions made can be seen here: http://millerplace-rockypoint.patch.com/articles/with-budget-failed-what-should-mt-sinai-do-to-save-programs
Tom May 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM
It's time for the BIG MAN to go along with the school Board. If I have too I will rent a bus and bring every senior in the community to the school to vote. When are you people going to understand the well is dry? It's time the teachers pay for medical and parents pay as they go for sports. This is how you trim the budget not by going over the cap. Most of us have cut in everyday life as it is. What makes them think they are special?. Less then 30% goes to the kids the rest to the greedy teachers and staff.
Brian Ford May 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Dr. Bonasera has been an invaluable part of the Mt Sinai School Systems since it started 30 years ago. He has been working all these years to educate our communities children and help them succeed. If you had a child in Mt Sinai schools anytime in the past 30 years you should thank him. If you own a home in Mt Sinai part of it's value is derived from others wanting to send their children to the school district that he helped build. I wish him the best in his retirement. Blaming Dr. Bonasera for the budget decision of trying to pierce the tax cap is wrong. That decision was made by the elected Mt Sinai School Board.
Wlodek May 25, 2012 at 10:13 PM
A 2x4 (like a 2x4 piece of lumber) method of getting parent's attention in Mt. Sinai schools. Please read the letter of a Mt. Sinai parent and a response form a school official, who did not sign it, on how Mt. Sinai gets parents' attention. This is a real eye opener. Any ideas who the school official is? Take a look. http://www.mtsinai.k12.ny.us/boe/budget/12-13/Q%20&%20A%20with%20a%20resident.pdf

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