Parents and Smithtown taxpayers braved soggy weather on Tuesday to cast their votes on the district's $212.4 million proposed school budget. And, as expected, reactions were mixed at the polls.
Sue Peverelle of Smithtown said she voted yes because she believes the proposed budget is better than the contingent budget, which comes in at nearly $3 million more than the proposed budget at $215,307,048.
“I voted yes only because voting no would be a higher number, the taxes would go up more,” Peverelle said. “Not that I want to send that message that approving the budget is OK, but it would have been worse for the taxpayers if it would be voted no.”
Bob Normandin of Smithtown agreed.
“I’m going to vote yes for the budget because I don’t think the alternative is very good,” he said. “They’ve done a pretty good job trying to keep costs in line so I’m going to vote for it.”
Cheryl Lendrick of Smithtown also voted yes, but not out of concerns over the contingency budget.
“I voted for the budget. I don’t want the state to have any say in what we do as far as spending money,” she said. “It’s the right thing to do for the kids. I just want to see them do right by the kids.”
As of 2 p.m., Smithtown Elementary had 515 voters, which June Ferri, head clerk of the voting location, said was in line last year. She described the turnout of voters as “slow, but steady.”
The proposed $212,361,284 budget comes with a 4.9 percent tax levy. To hit the mark, the aims to save money by increasing class size, cutting athletic programs, eliminating staff and more.