Elizabeth Black Challenges William Spencer
In a local newspaper article on October 27, 2011, the Superintendent of the Huntington School District, James W. Polansky alerted the community that the 2% cap on school district budget increases will cause an enormous challenge to the district’s ability to deliver educational service in the coming year. In the campaign for the18th Legislative District, Dr. William Spencer has mailed over 10 political attack pieces criticizing his opponent Elizabeth Black, a trustee of the Huntington School district for the school budget. The budget in the Huntington School District is currently $109,037,301.00. To continue to run an identical program or a rollover budget in 2011-1012 would require a budget of $113,450,000.00. This is $2,532,535.00 above the cap.
According to the Republican-Conservative candidate Elizabeth Black, “Having served on the school board for eight previous budget seasons, I share Dr. Polansky’s concern. I have worked to reduce the costs to the taxpayers yet still maintain quality education. My opponent in the election for Suffolk County Legislature has been very outspoken in his criticism of the budget over the years on education in the Huntington District. He has spent thousands of dollars mailing literature critical of the budget, yet never explains what he would have done differently. So, William Spencer, what say you? You have been sitting on the sidelines in every sense. Your failure to vote in your own school board elections speaks to your lack of concern regarding these vital issues.”
There are six school districts that to some extent touch the 18th Legislative District these districts include Cold Spring Harbor, Huntington, South Huntington, Northport- East Northport, Commack and Harborfields. Elizabeth Black points out that “Each of these districts over the years has chosen budget increases similar if not greater than those adopted in Huntington. I am sure that each of those school districts is awaiting your input as to what programs you would have cut. I know I am.”
Furthermore, Elizabeth Black indicates that “Dr. Spencer’s proposal at Gateway Gardens to increase the density to two times the lawful limit would certainly place a further burden on our schools, our infrastructure and the taxpayers. How can he claim he can cut the school budget while at the same time increasing student population and adding thousands of additional dollars in costs to the backs of the taxpayers?”
Elizabeth Black further challenges Dr Spencer to disclose the budgets for which he is responsible as Chairman of the Huntington Housing Authority. Ms. Black asked “The town code requires full disclosure to the public as to the financial activities of the Huntington Housing Authority. It has come to my attention that this information has not been regularly provided during your tenure as Chairman. If you have any respect for law and transparency, I urge you to fully disclose immediately. The public deserves no less.”