Mineola passes $109.5M budget, re-elects Widman, DeCillis to ed board

Mineola passes $109.5M budget, re-elects Widman, DeCillis to ed board
Incumbent trustees Brian Widman and Stacey DeCillis secured re-election to the Mineola Board of Education. (Courtesy of Brian Widman and Stacey DeCillis)

Running unopposed, Mineola Board of Education Trustees Brian Widman and Stacey DeCillis were re-elected Tuesday, and the $109.5 million district budget was approved with 78% of the 700 votes cast Tuesday.

The $109,552,352 budget is a $100,467, or 0.09% decrease from the current budget and calls for a 2% tax levy increase.

The district received an increase in state aid under the recently adopted state budget compared to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s initial proposal.

While originally facing a $90,000 drop in state aid, Mineola will now receive about a $150,000 boost, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Jack Waters said.

In total, Mineola is receiving $240,000 more than was expected when the board adopted its budget in April, but no changes will be made to the proposed budget, Waters said.

If the state aid is not used to offset revenue lapses, it will go toward surpluses at the end of the year, the assistant superintendent said.

Residents approved the budget with a 547 to 153 margin.

In addition to the trustee election and budget, residents voted to approve with 83% of the vote in a 576 to 121 margin a proposition to expend up to $4.5 million from the 2022 Capital Reserve.

The money will be used for a host of projects, including the replacement of the Mineola High School lobby roof and skylight, replacement of ceiling grids and lighting in high school classrooms, funding of softball field construction, new sidewalks at the middle school, elevator and heating and air conditioning system repairs and so on.

Widman received 544 votes and DeCillis received 572 votes.

The two trustees previously told Blank Slate Media they place value on fiscal responsibility, especially since other nearby districts have proposed staff and program cuts in their draft budgets while Mineola has not.

Widman is a Mineola High School alum who has lived in the district for more than 50 years. The board member comes from a family of educators – both of his parents were public school teachers and his wife is a public school teacher. He has one child in the district, an 11th grader, and one child who graduated from the district.

“I would like to thank all of the residents who came out to vote to pass the budget,” Widman told Blank Slate Media in a statement. “I am also incredibly humbled by the trust put in myself and Stacey from the community and will do my best to always do what is best for our district’s learners and be fiscally responsible for our district’s residents.”

DeCillis is a parent, educator and active community member who said she prioritizes providing students with a high-quality education that will shape them to become problem solvers, critical thinkers and collaborative teammates.

“My first term as board trustee has afforded me the opportunity to give back to a community that is really a special place and has influenced me to run for [re-election],” DeCillis previously said in a statement.



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