Contested races for Hewlett-Woodmere school and library seats

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Voting for the Hewlett-Woodmere School District budget and trustees and the HWPL budget and trustees is on May 21.

School Board President Mitchell Greebel, Trustee Daniella Simon, Paul Critti and Asaf Fligelman are running. The two top vote-getters win the three-year terms while the third highest will serve the balance of an expiring term beginning on May 21. The term expires on June 30, 2020. Trustee Scott McInnes is stepping down and moving out of the district. Greebel is running for his third term and Simon is running for her second term. Critti and Fligelman are first-time board candidates. Fligelman is also running for library trustee.

“I’m committed to working for this community and this board as a whole is committed to the work they perform,” said Greebel, 59, a lawyer.

Simon, 42, is a Hewlett High School graduate. “I feel that in my time as a board member, the board members and myself have done a great job of representing all the children within the school district,” she said.

“My son is entering high school next year and the board will make decisions that impact the high schoolers and their futures,” said Critti, 58, a retired NYPD officer.

Fligelman, 34, works in the financial industry. “I don’t think it’s necessary to cost-cut our budget,” he said. “We have an issue of not attracting enough young families to stop the public school population from declining so we have to find a way to try to flat-line the property taxes in this district.”

Proposition No. 1 is the proposed budget of $$123,318,721. The tax levy is also slated to increase by 2.95 percent, to $103.2 million. The spending increase is also 2.95 percent mostly because of a $1.5 million jump in employee benefits and an uptick in transportation costs of nearly $817,000.

If approved, Proposition No. 2 would allow the district to use $3 million from the Hewlett-Woodmere Long Range Capital Reserve Fund established in 2017, to complete a window replacement project at Hewlett High.

HWPL budget and trustees

Proposition No. 3 is the proposed Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library budget of $6,567,446. A $137,425 increase from the current budget. The proposed tax levy is $6,423,103. The cost of library materials, resources and services is proposed at $853,520, an $18,000 uptick from current costs.

Running to succeed Trustee David Adler, who opted not to run for re-election, are Asaf Fligelman, Jonathan Simon and Cheryl Slansky. The highest vote-getter wins the five-year term that begins on July 1.

Fligelman, said one of his goals is to increase programming. “I would like to have more programming at the library not just for kids, but for all ages,” he said. “I also feel that it’s important to have diversity on a board and I think that my financial background will be beneficial to the library board.”

Simon has four children in the school district and said he spends much time in HWPL. “I’ve always loved libraries and I feel that they’re extremely important for education,” he said. “They are important for a community to have and I feel that I will help even better this library if elected.”

Slansky, a Woodmere resident for 16 years, works as a real estate agent. “I always try to be involved in the community and I’ve attended several trustee meetings,” she said. “I believe that my skill sets make me more than qualified to be a library trustee.”

Voting takes place at the Woodmere Education Center, at 1 Johnson Place in Woodmere, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on May 21.