Westbury Budget Passes With ‘No Mud-Slinging’

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By Chris boyle
westbury@antonnews.com

The residents have spoken. The Westbury School District’s 123.7 million budget was passed by the voters on Tuesday, May 20.

Superintendent of Schools Mary Lagnado says the successful budget vote is a sign of the support of the residents of Westbury and their belief that the district has the best interests of the students at heart.

“I feel very good about this, because our numbers are increasing every year, which means that we have the confidence of our community,” she said. “That makes me feel very happy, and now we can do the right thing for our children.”

Board of Education Vice President Dr. Pless M. Dickerson, Superintendent of Schools Mary A. Lagnado, Trustee Laura L. Pierce, Trustee Karin B. Campbell, Board of Education President Rodney Caines, Trustee Robin L. Garrison Bolling, and Trustee Leslie F. Davis.
Board of Education Vice President Dr. Pless M. Dickerson, Superintendent  Mary A. Lagnado, Trustee Laura L. Pierce,  Trustee Karin B. Campbell, Board of Education President Rodney Caines, Trustee Robin L. Garrison Bolling, and Trustee Leslie F. Davis.

The $123,715,746 spending plan for 2014-2015 was passed with an overall vote of 752 for/453 against. The breakdown per polling place is as follows: 

Middle School: 234 for/132 against
Drexel Avenue: 106 for/180 against
Park Avenue: 309 for/63 against
Dryden Street: 34 for/58 against

Board of Education President Rodney Caines played a major hand in crafting the budget and expressed his enthusiasm not only for its approval by voters, but for the active hand the public played in the Board of Trustees elections played out on the same evening. “It’s a tremendous victory all-around,” he said. “The budget passed again for the third year in a row, and we had a safe, happy election. There was no mud-slinging back and forth between the candidates. Everyone played nice in the sandbox. I really feel that Westbury is moving in the right direction. We’ve got a great team already, and one new Board member now, so we’re very excited that what we’re going to get accomplished going forward.”

Five candidates were vying for the three seats up for grabs on the Board of Education. Incumbent Karin B. Campbell, a long-time trustee on the Board of Education, was successfully re-elected to her post by the community with 735 votes.

“It’s amazing to go into my fourth term. This has been 12 long and hard years, and I have a lot of work to do,” she said. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to be a part of something that’s going to move the district where it needs to go. We are very proud of all of our students.”

Laura L. Pierce, another incumbent, was also re-elected to a third term as a trustee with 624 votes. While enthused to continue serving the community, she politely bemoaned the amount of residents who turned out to actually vote compared to the overall large size of the district itself.

“I’m grateful that the voters supported me, and I’m very happy that the budget went over,” she said. “I’m a little concerned about the numbers in terms of the voter turnout, which was low district-wide overall, but I’m excited about being able to go back on and complete what I started as one of the Board members. I’m looking forward to that.”

The newest addition to the Board of Education, Robin L. Garrison Bolling, was successfully elected to her first terms as a trustee by an overall vote of 676. She said that this accomplishment was a tribute to a dearly departed former classmate of hers.

“I’m excited. I did this in the memory of my friend Damon Dave Mock who is no longer with us. This is something that he and I used to talk about often,” she said. “So, to be able to be on the school board at this time of my life as I would say to him, I’m doing my grown-woman thing here, and this is it. I’ve done it, and I’m just excited that my community came out and voted for me.”

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