Ballot set for East Williston school votes

Ballot set for East Williston school votes
East Williston school board President Mark Kamberg

East Williston school district residents will cast ballots next Tuesday to likely re-elect their school board president to a fourth term.

Mark Kamberg of Albertson is the sole candidate for his own school board seat. First elected in 2008, he is nearing the end of his seventh year as president.

Kamberg, 50, said he is looking forward to continuing the district’s efforts to expand opportunities for students while keeping tax and spending increases to a minimum.

“[A]s trustees we do have a responsibility to provide a safe and sound environment for our children and our staff while continuing to support the community as a whole,” he said in an interview last month.

Kamberg, the president of S. Kamberg & Co., a Great Neck-based food ingredients company his father founded, is finishing his ninth year on the school board. The only contested race he has ever run was his first, in which he defeated then-incumbent Trustee Sigi Huhn.

Renegotiating labor contracts next year with four of the district’s labor unions, including the teachers union, is likely to be one of the biggest challenges in Kamberg’s fourth term, he said in an interview last month.

The contracts will be key to keeping annual spending increases down as the state’s cap on property tax hikes constricts them further, according to a report in March from the district’s Financial Advisory Committee.

The negotiations are a challenge “while trying to continue to be able to support and enhance our academic programs within a tax cap environment while being able to provide our staff with the financial support that they deserve,” Kamberg said in the interview last month.

Kamberg said he’s proud of the district’s efforts to improve its buildings, infrastructure and security systems.

Alongside Kamberg on next week’s ballot is a proposition to spend $1 million from a capital reserve fund to continue some of those upgrades. The money would pay for fixes to a security vestibule, landscaping, new parking pavers along some of Downing Road and updates to the North Side School’s baseball fields and basketball courts.

Voters will also decide whether to approve the district’s $58.3 million budget, which would raise revenue from property taxes by 0.98 percent. The tax hike is less than the maximum of 1.48 percent allowed this year under the state’s tax cap law.

Polls will be open on Tuesday, May 16, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Wheatley School gymnasium, located at 11 Bacon Road in Old Westbury.

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