In alignment with the Garden City Board of Education’s Legislative Affairs Committee’s goal of enhancing communication with the community, Garden City Public Schools has continued its Question of the Week feature. If you have a question you’d like answered about public or board policy, school district operations, or budget preparation and voting, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I’m really busy and I’ve heard that most school budgets pass in New York State anyway, so why should I bother to vote on May 17?
A: It’s true, even prior to New York State’s tax cap, most of the state’s public school budgets passed on the first vote. However, budget outcomes are not a given. It is not unheard of in any election for the outcome to be determined by a mere handful of votes. Voting in the local school election is one of the most direct ways a registered voter can have input into the democratic process. Any registered voter aged 18 years old by May 17 or older can vote in the school election. If you are a U.S. citizen and a Garden City resident for at least 30 days prior to the election and have not voted in a local, state, or federal election in the past four years, you must register. In-person registration is ongoing in the District Clerk’s Office, 56 Cathedral Ave., Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Absentee ballots are also available from the district clerk (516-478-1040) for voters who cannot be present during the 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. polling hours at Garden City High School on May 17. Budget and board choices impact the direction and operation of the local public school district, so please join us on May 17.
For Garden City Public Schools, this year is important for not only the 2016-17 budget referendum and the election of two board trustees, but also because each voter will be asked for his/her permission for the district to utilize the Capital Reserve Fund established in 2015 for three major construction projects: new breezeway windows in the middle school; replacement of the high school turf field and track; and a new HVAC system for the high school auditorium. This is at no cost to taxpayers—the funds already exist within the reserve.
For parents of primary and elementary school students, a Field Day Snack Vote will again be held on May 17 from 3 to 9 p.m. for your children to vote for his/her preferred snack for the upcoming field days.
Also on vote day, the hallways around the high school gym will be filled with art works by the district’s K-12 students. At 6 p.m., the Elementary String Ensemble will perform in the high school auditorium. And at 7 p.m. in the auditorium, it’s Jazz Night, a toe-tapping musical interlude by the high school’s talented jazz ensemble students. So, please mark your calendars for May 17—come out and vote, view the beautiful art works and stay for the string and jazz ensembles.
To learn more about the proposed 2016-17 budget, please visit the district website, “Budget Information” tab: www.gardencity.k12.ny.us.
—Submitted by the
Garden City Public School District