A handful of residents joined at to discuss the 2012-13 budget Tuesday night. Residents were given a rundown of the proposed $150,567,160 budget and were then invited to react.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Paul Defendini presented a last overview of the budget, highlighting how it maintains all programs, remained under the state tax levy cap by .18 percent, and maintained the district's commitment to the budget development process. Defendini also commended the critical role of teachers in making the budget possible by agreeing to a salary freeze.
"I will support the budget," said resident Roy Burns. "The teachers did everything that I wanted in the last six years in this contract," said Roy Burns of the zero step increases.
"Going forward into the future, that's where you're going to have a problem," he warned. "They're going to go back to this year and they're going to use this as their launching pad. If we go at the rate we've been going through this first part of the decade, we're going to be in a more serious [situation]."
"It's almost impossible to replicate what we've gone through, said Superintendent John Lorentz of the economic hardships of recent years. "We really are in uncharted waters as to what it's going to mean for public education."
Farmingdale will vote on the proposed budget on May 15 from 6 a.m. to 9 pm. at Howitt Middle School's east gymnasium. Three incumbents, Shari Bardash-Eivers, Kathy Lively, and Rick Morrison, are running unopposed for three open positions on the board.