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Elmont Online

Vote Yes On June 19


pmeagwaliDear Community Members;

I am writing this letter for two very important reasons. First, thank you for reelecting me to the Elmont School Board. It is an honor and privilege to serve our community.

Secondly, as a resident and parent of children in the Elmont School District, I respectfully urge you vote "yes" to pass the Elmont School budget scheduled for a revote on June 19, 2012.

Much was made of the fact that the tax rate exceeded the state mandated Tax Cap of 2%. But what pleased me most was the majority community support of the modest 2.8% increase. The voting Elmont community supported our schools and a budget which the Board and Superintendent worked very hard to ensure was both educationally and fiscally sound.

The issue is that state mandated increases to district expenditures in three areas - Retirement System increase 15%; Health Insurance Increase 11% and Special Education Increase 2% represent 2.3% of the 2.8% increase.  Madated expenses alone caused the district budget to exceed the 2 percent Tax Cap.

Without those mandates, the budget would have increased by only one half of one percent (0.5%).

Additionally, the tax rate exceeded the Albany Tax Cap because state aid was reduced (we pay our bills with state aid and taxes we collect) and when state aid decreases the shortfall must be made up with local property taxes.

We have an excellent educational program in spite of a dramatic funding gap. Our district ranks near the bottom (53of 56) in Nassau County in per-pupil spending. Defeat of our budget on June 19 would result in a mandatory reduction of $3.4 million. Thus we face teacher's layoffs, class size increases, full day kindergarten elimination, and dramatic cuts to teacher aide, bus attendant, and other support personnel.

In addition, it could also means the elimination of summer programs, after school programs, Saturday enrichment, and the language academies.

I cannot see how this would not adversely affect home values in our community. Therefore, I urge my neighbors to carefully consider the long ranging negative consequences of voting 'No'. Please vote "Yes" on June 19.

Elmont Resident and Parent.

Last Updated ( Friday, 01 June 2012 04:15 )  


0 # Anthony Emengo, Esq 2012-06-05 00:50
Dear Mr. Emeagwali:
Your concise article under reference manifests the transparency and accountability of the leadership of Elmont School District. A trait worthy of emulation by our national and state representatives . The art of governance and for that matter politics, need not be rendered in "double speak" and hyperboles. You can take it to the bank that your residents are learning for the first time vide your article that the state had foisted a mandatory 2.3% increase in necessary expenses upon your district while prescribing a mandatory tax increase at 2%. Please keep up the good work and keep your electors informed.
Anthony Emengo.
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0 # Patrick Emeagwali 2012-06-17 22:54
Mr Emengo, Esq.
Thanks for your concern and interest for Elmont community.

I will, as always, continue to advocate and seek the best for Elmont community.
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0 # Rita Okala 2012-06-03 17:23
Mr. Patrick Emeagwali,

Great article and I hope it helps the Elmont Community. Thank you.
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0 # Patrick Emeagwali 2012-06-05 22:17
I very much appriciate your understanding of my article and my community. Thanks so much Ms.Okala
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Today, we are talking to people about sustainable economic development, because we think it's important to show support for key issues that affect our community - like places in the Elmont for young professionals to live, shop and be entertained; like keeping families closer together and rebuilding the economic and social pillars of the community.

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