Challenger Ted Post defeats incumbent president Aitken in Manhasset election

Challenger Ted Post defeats incumbent president Aitken in Manhasset election
Newly-elected Manhasset school board trustee Ted Post. (Photo courtesy of Post)

Challenger Ted Post defeated Manhasset Board of Education President Patricia Aitken in Tuesday’s election, which also the passing of the district’s $107.7 million budget.

Post received 1,352 votes compared to Aitken’s 1,042. The budget was also approved with 1,681 votes in favor compared to 696 against.

The newly-elected trustee said he looks forward to meeting with community stakeholders to find ways for the district to continue providing a beneficial education for students.

“I am very excited and humbled to be elected as a trustee to the Manhasset Board of Education,” Post said in a statement to Blank Slate Media. “I am also very much looking forward to engaging with our administration, teachers, staff, coaches and our community to deliver the absolute best educational experience we can for our children.”

Post has over 25 years of experience in the banking world and has overseen financial, legal, operational and IT teams. He has also served two terms on the Manhasset Athletic Advisory Committee and has coached a variety of athletic teams.

Aitken was named president of the board in 2019, succeeding former Trustee Regina Rule, who served in the role for six years.

The budget is a 3% increase from the current budget, which does not exceed the allowed 2.97% tax levy increase.

The budget increased by more than $3 million, while the tax levy grew from $94.3 million in 2022 to $97.1 million this year, according to officials.

The driving forces of the budget’s growth include a $1.8 million total increase in benefits, a $620,000 increase in compensation and a $681,000 increase in all other budget items.

Other budget items that mainly contribute to the increase include a $310,000 investment in the district’s special education program, a $270,000 increase in the district’s information technology department, a $93,000 increase toward facility enhancements and $63,000 for curriculum and instruction.

The budget also includes $5.2 million in state aid, an increase of $150,000 from last year. The district, according to Superintendent Gaurav Passi, will allocate $724,000 in anticipated revenue received this year and allocated for the 2023-24 tax levy.

Passi previously said the budget is “under stress” due to the rising cost of health insurance and other items, so the district is unable to transfer $125,000 to its repair reserve like it did last year.

The repair reserve, Passi said, has more than $400,000 allocated to handle any “unanticipated repair issues that fall outside of the typical repair maintenance projects.”

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