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Rocky Point Voters Pass Capital Reserve Projects

Vote passes 305-199.

Voters on Monday passed a referendum for three Capital Reserve Projects, including the installation of a new turf field, by a vote of 305-199.

"Tonight we see saw that the voters wanted this to go forward and we're happy that they wanted it to go forward and help us improve our instructional spaces, replace the track that needs to be replaced and to help add value to the track as well," said Superintendent Michael Ring.

Ring explained that the projectwill now go to the state for official approval. After it's approved by the state sometime in December or January, it will go out to bid.

Voters were presented with one vote for three projects, including replacement of the grass field with synthetic turf, the reconstruction of the existing track and the reconstruction of instructional laboratories.

"The track will keep us in competition which we might have otherwise been out of because we wouldn't have had a track suitable for competition," Ring explained.

Ring estimated the bids should be received sometime in March, at which time the lowest qualified bid will be accepted by the board. Construction is expected to begin just after the end of school in June.

AnotherLocalMom November 20, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Let's be clear, Dr. Ring, 305 voters approved this proposition. It's a shame that so few people showed up to vote, and it's not "this community" who approved it--it's a small group of people that I'm sure are only interested in what they want, not really what's good for our children or this community.
Justin Time November 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Let the fun begin folks..Enjoy the tax increases!!
Jessica Ward November 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM
I guess if more people were opposed to it then they would have come out in droves to vote it down. The referendum was publicized on The Patch, in mailings to all households, on the district website and at a public forum. Those that did come out to vote did support it--is the overall turnout disappointing--yes it is--wish more people actually took the time to be involved members of the community rather than just ranting.
Speaker of Many November 20, 2012 at 01:19 PM
as long as my Children and the community has better equipment. what does it matter. if you all were so against it more people should have turned our to have their voice heard. i probably pay more than most for my taxes in RP. been a resident here most of my life and i believe the more we put into our community, the more you get out.
RP mom November 20, 2012 at 01:28 PM
LocalMom- Really? Do you realize that the Science Labs will be updated - you know for present day? THAT DOES IMPACT MY SON and I am more than HAPPY to vote for it. Is 3 new science labs NOT good for YOUR children? How is that good for only a small group of people? I WANT all RP children to have better educational facilities. Dont You? This money is NOT coming from an increase in taxes. People should really EDUCATE themselves before they go on a rant about things like this. Did everyone commenting here vote??
AnotherLocalMom November 20, 2012 at 01:30 PM
RP Mom, you're right. However, this proposition was put up for a vote supposedly because that's what the community wanted. If only 300 people voted yes, where did the District get the idea that the "community" wanted it. It's what the Board wanted and they knew how to push it thoruhg. I'm very disappointed that it passed, but let's face it, this was like a mid-term election. People weren't paying attention. I'm convinced that, if they had put it up with the budget vote, it would not have passed.
Phillip November 20, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Speaker of Many, you are really Speaker of Those Who Want Everything and Don't Care Who Pays For It. What does it matter as long as your children have better equipment? It matters because people are suffering today and can't afford to keep paying higher taxes. RP Mom, yes, we're already paid the taxes to do this. But we will also have to pay the taxes to refund the capital improvements fund. It matters because there are other renovations that should be made that do in fact benefit eveyone. RP Mom, Seven science labs have already been renovated. This is for the remaining three. Where most of the money for this project goes is to the track and field. Perhaps you should educate yourself! It matters because if this Board really wanted the community to decide they would have allowed a separate vote on the three projects.
Just me November 20, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Do not need the kids exposed to the chemicals that they have proven leach out and can cause cancers in future. Think the money should have been used for such as kids learning safe driving with put paying 400 for the class- think not enough publicity as they wanted to slip it through for the few- Every budget vote the say they will cut classes but they can buy a plastic field ? That should improve their life skills?
Phillip November 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
You're absolutely right, Just Me. And they better not try to pierce the cap again or say that the only way they can stay under the cap is to cut real programs like kindergarten! That's what they did last year. Let's remember that the money used for this proposition was money they ovberbudgeted in past years. Why didn't they use it to stay under the cap? Why didn't they use just some of it to only renovate the labs? Anyone who doesn't think there were people who didn't approve of the turf but voted yes because of the labs is either fooling themselves or the rest of us.
K. November 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Do you really think that your child is going to get cancer from playing on the "turf"? If it encouages increased use of the field, the real exercise benefit would probably outweigh any hypothetical cancer risk. I think a properly maintained grass field would be a benefit as well, but then we'd have parents afraid of pesticides or fetilizers or non-Evian sprinkler systems or lawn-mower pollution...
Stacy Golik-King November 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM
To AnotherLocalMom The voters that came out apparently were the ONLY community residence concerned weather yay or nay. Up keep of the school is important not to be a burden to the community later as a tax burden This was the smartest thing that could have happened. The funds are in the reserve and are going to be replaced by the state at 70%.with no tax burden. Its like LIPA saying if u buy an energy efficient appliance we will give u 70% of the cost back. Its a NO BRAINER! Hats off to the School for looking out for the community and the residences that actually cared enough to get out to vote!
Stacy Golik-King November 20, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Getting educated is very important....apparently u failed to do that. There is NO tax increase! The money is already in the reserve fund for improvement to the school and is being replaced by the state at 70% from a modernization GRANT. Its like anything else up keep is necessary not to cost more later. Its public information try looking it up u might feel better about it.
Stacy Golik-King November 20, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Phillip...CANCER REALLY?????? so the 80% of the school districts on Long Island who already have turf are subjecting their children to cancer? Do you hear how ignorant that sounds? This project had nothing to do with the budget the funds were already there and the State regulates how the money is spent it is broken into different funds nd u can not by State Law take from one fund to put into another. Iam sure that the Library has a break downof how the system actually works that u can read and better understand.
Phillip November 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Stacy, first, I didn't say anything about cancer. You say the funds were already there. I'm perfectly aware of the fact that, once the money is in any fund it can only be used for specific purposes. But just where do you think that money came from if not from taxpayer money that was overbudgeted? A decision was then made where to put it. The District could have decided THEN to use it to stay below the cap. Any way you look at it, whether from the District or from the state it initially came from the taxpayer.
Stacy Golik-King November 20, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Sorry Phillip that should have been for JUSTme RE..Cancer and I agree at some point it came from the taxes but the track is close to condemment for fear of law suits and like everything you home, yard, car and oil burner everything requires maintenance if the ability to have a 70% reimbursemnet is there for any project, upkeep or renovation then so be it. And for the record the moneys original allocation was for the asbestos removal, due to an accident by the roofers during the job the asbestos had been removed under an insurance claim threw the roofers insurance which then in turn freed the money for another improvement that a 70% reimbursement from the state grant will issue. Really anything refunded to the school at 70% shouldn't even be of question
Ernestine Franco November 20, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Another Local Mom, RP Mom, Philip, you’re all right: It’s a shame that more people don’t show up to vote. And, until that happens, until more people let their voices be heard by voting on any issue, a small percentage of any population will make decisions that we all have to live with. The main problem that I have with this proposition is how it was handled: From scheduling the community meeting at a time when it might be hard for people who work to attend to providing only the so-called advantages at this meeting, the Board made sure that their preference was talked about in a favorable light. Whether or not the health issues are legitimate, there was never a frank and balanced discussion about these concerns. And, what to me is worst of all is the fact that this Board did not allow the community to really choose by putting up the three parts as separate votes. And, yes, the District will be reimbursed by the state. But to all those who say it is the state that will be paying the largest percent, I ask where they think the state gets its money: From the taxes we all pay. Furthermore, the District can’t expect the state to pay for this turf and then tell us that they can’t stay under the cap because of unfunded state mandates.
Ernestine Franco November 20, 2012 at 07:34 PM
However, this vote is over, the proposition passed, and we all have the constitutional right to be wrong. We now need to focus on what happens next. Soon we will be asked to consider a new budget. And we need to insist that in 2013 the District stay under the cap and do so without cutting school programs. We need to remind them that they can’t spend over a million dollars on synthetic turf and then tell us that our children will suffer if they have to stay under the cap. When we are told that it is fiscally responsible to put overbudgeted monies into a capital improvement fund, and then that they can’t stay under the cap, we need to answer and do so loudly, not when you used the money to benefit a small percentage of students and for something that has nothing to do with providing a better education.
Jackie T November 21, 2012 at 02:37 AM
oo
Justin Time November 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM
The whole thing is a joke "my children" thats what it all coming down too! Parents push what the think is best on their kids instead of giving them real morals and family values. But then again, the parents cant teach something they dont know. Instead of giving them something like artificial turf, give them better education so they can become something that there parents arent. And yes, taxpayers will be footing bills on this project in some form or another.
AnotherLocalMom November 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Ernestine, I've heard you at Board meetings and am grateful for your attempts to get the message on track. I have one child left in the school and another in the first year of college, and as I've said before am concerned that they may not be able to live here after they graduate. They can't afford the property taxes, and yet our District just keeps spending and as you said now on something that has nothing to do with better education. Why don't you run for the Board? Some people say that because you don't have kids you don't care, but I know that's not true. Your comments have always included concern for our kids' education as well as accountability to the community. I've also heard that in your volunteer work you spend a lot of time in work that benefits our children. This District needs people like you--not people who are out of touch with the real problems of people's lives. We've never talked, but if you should decide to run, I will do whatever I can to help you.
Jessica Ward November 21, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Ernestine: I agree with you 100% that the Administration and the Board of Ed needs to present a fiscally sound budget that does not pierce the cap. Sacrifices may need to be made by all the players--teachers--parents--administration--everyone should be willing to make this budget as lean as possible to hopefully avoid cuts to programs and staffing levels. Again I encourage everyone to educate themselves--attend the Board of Ed meetings--look at the line item budget--go to the budget workshops and community hearings--don't complain if you're not part of the process. While Ernestine and I may not agree on many points, I respect her opinions and her right to express them and whole heartedly encourage others to do so in the same spirit as she does--with civility and respect.
DriscollP November 21, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I'm new to Rocky Point and new to this blog, but I agree with Ernestine. Let's not be like those who want to secede from the US because they didn't like the results of an election. We need to focus on the future. I have two small children that will soon be going to Rocky Point, and I was very distressed ealrier this year when we were told that for the District to stay under the cap they would need to cut kindergarten. I felt then and still do that this was a scare tactic--that there was no way they would cut something so crucial the development of our children. They simply wanted to pierce the cap and continue increasing the burden on taxpayers and knew how to do it. The same way they knew how to push passage of the turf through. I agree with Ernestine--people need to be involved, speak up, and vote. If we don't it's absolutely true that my kids won't be able to live here once they graduate. People should read up on this--it's called the brain drain--that Long Island is losing it's best and brightest partly because of property taxes. I want my kids to have the best possible education but I also think it has to be the best possible we can afford. We all do it in our homes. We may want everything, but whether we like it or not, reality tells us we can't!
Stacy Golik-King November 21, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I disagree sports and sportsmanship are a large part of life knowing how to handle disappointment and victory's are an essential part of humanity. The board did have numerous meeting regarding this project and they had it in local papers and even patch.The shameful thing is that only 504 people voted. Shame on those who didn't and decided to put fate in others hands. As for the project it was explained at 2 meetings in which I attended (because I do care) That splitting the vote into three different parts would make the school intelligible for the grant the only way the state would provide the district with the grant was to combine and interior improvement with an out door modernization they said it repeatedly when asked. The capital improvement funds were available only because the asbestos project happen to get covered by the roofers insurance do to an accident on his part allowing us to use the funds for other improvements with no tax increase had nothing to do with the last budget vote. As far as to expensive to live well thats due to the horrible government officials not the school board (whole other topic) Sorry u feel schools maintenance and upkeep is not necessary, learning life's victory's and disappointments aren't necessary and equipment that had been there since 1989 or prior should not be replaced. Its not the schools or boards fault that 11496 people didnt vote and allowed their fiat to be determined by others. Shame on them thats whos really at fault.
Ernestine Franco November 21, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Stacy, A separate vote on each part of the project could have been allowed and EVERYTHING that passed would have been aidable if passage of the track and field had been made contingent on passage of the classrooms. As far as the importance of sports, I agree with you. Sports has it's place in our schools, but does that really mean that we need to spend over a million dollars on a synthetic fleld? The whole project is being paid by our tax money (whether it's state or local we're sping for it!)
Phillip November 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Stacy, I have to wonder how many people, like you, believed what the District said and thought that all three had to be put as one vote in order to be reimbursed by the state. I think you should educate yourself a little bit better. When the District first stated that the three had to be put up as one vote I called the NYS Dept. of Ed. to check and this is what they told me could have been done. Prop 1 THE CLASSROOMS Prop 2 THE TRACK Prop 3 THE TURF PROPOSITIONS 2 AND 3 WILL PASS ONLY IF PROP 1 PASSES This way we would have been allowed to pass the parts that we supported and any parts that passed (because 1 must pass) would have been reimbursed. Either you are somehow connected to the District and want to continue disseminating their propaganda or you simply believed everything they said without checking into it.
Justin Time November 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM
The state should NOT be reimbursing anything. If the parents want this for their esteem, then let them pay for it! They should be so concerned about turning out productive kids to enter the workplace.
DriscollP November 21, 2012 at 11:19 PM
So we should all write to Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Losquadro and tell them we don't want the state to approve this. They keep telling us there's no money, so why would they even conisder paying for synthetic turf in this economic climate? I just don't get it!
Justin Time November 22, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Unfortunately, it boils down to people NOT getting out there to vote! Part of the problem is alot of renters dont vote, and just dont care what passes in a budget. The remainder are just lazy, so everybody suffers from this.
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