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Feb 28, 2012 10:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Quogue Residents Vote In Favor Of Purchasing Property Adjacent To Elementary School

Feb 29, 2012 12:22 PM

East Quogue residents on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the purchase of a three-quarter-acre property located at 10 Central Avenue, adjacent to the elementary school, to accommodate future expansion needs.

By voting in favor of the purchase, 414-173, residents approved the spending of $400,000 already set aside in this year’s budget to acquire the property. Of that money, $250,000 will be used to buy the land, and the remaining $150,000 will be used to demolish a single-family home that sits on the parcel currently owned by the estate of Louise Oliver.

“I am very pleased, obviously, with the result,” East Quogue School Superintendent Les Black said after the results were announced at 9:15 p.m. in the school cafetorium. “It is comforting to see that so many people are farsighted enough to vote on something that is in the best community interest but may not be in their best interest right now. It is an enlightened vote by an enlightened community.”

Polls were open at the school on Tuesday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and the results were announced that night after a Board of Education meeting.

The results of the vote were largely expected given the outpouring of support for the proposal during a February 7 information meeting in which several people spoke in favor of the purchase.

“I am very excited and I am not particularly surprised,” said East Quogue resident Don Bouchard when reached on Wednesday morning. “I believed that this was going to be the outcome, and I know a lot of people in the community had worked hard to get the word out on why this is an important issue to our community.”

One community resident, Patricia Reindl, who has been against the purchase since the proposal was announced in the fall, said she is still concerned over how much the purchase will raise school taxes, explaining that while the land acquisition and demo work are already covered in this year’s budget, any future expansion plans are not. She also previously questioned why the Board of Education chose to hold the vote in February when many senior citizens were at their winter homes down south.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” Ms. Reindl said on Wednesday morning. “I don’t think that people realized that the taxes are going to go up quite significantly in a few years when an addition is added.”

After the results were announced Tuesday night, District Clerk Lenore Rezza stated that the final tally included the counting of 23 absentee ballots. Of those votes, 16 were in favor of the purchase and seven were opposed, she said.

According to Mr. Black, the next step for the district is to collect bids for demolishing the house that stands on the property, noting that the cost will not exceed the $150,000 already set aside for the project. He anticipates that the house will be razed sometime in the spring.

“We are, obviously, pleased with the result,” said East Quogue Elementary School Principal Robert Long. “We are appreciative of the community’s support and we feel it is the right decision for the future.”

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It's nice to see that the vote reflected the true feeling of the community. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of mean spirited, malicious, unsettling and disrespectful behavior directed towards the District throughout this process. I think the school did a great job of listening to the valid points community members made while skillfully handling the outlandish claims made against them. Tonight's result typifies the term, "Winning with class." Proud of the EQ Community for once again working ...more
By Eqeducation (8), East Quogue on Feb 28, 12 11:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
More, More, More. Huge salaries, Huge pensions, More Taxes. The student population of East Quogue is not growing, so why does the school need MORE space? Liberal tax and spend won tonight. Why do people complain about a bad economy? Obviously they seem to have more money to hand over in taxes. Perhaps too many people work for the local government and, as always, you just want more, more, more. Funny part is that these schools for all the huge bucks aren't churning out brilliant students. ...more
By Anashim (2), East Quogue on Feb 29, 12 12:02 AM
Careful, fcmcmann will come along just to call you "teabagger!"

This one obviously has naught to do with salaries and pensions, so you need to narrow your focus a bit. You buy land when you can, and this was a terrific opportunity to acquire a 3/4 acre pretty much on the cheap. The district will never lose money on this.

I don't understand how it is going to cost $150,000 to raze a kodest-size struct like that, though.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Feb 29, 12 2:16 AM
Win one for Socialism? My husband and I are both very conservative and we voted for the purchase because it was a wise business decision. I must also disagree with your statement that our schools are not “churning out brilliant students.” I was at the Board meeting last night and saw students being honored for excellence in art, music, and academics. They were ALL brilliant in my opinion. Liberal tax and spend didn’t win last night, the EQ community won last night. Thank ...more
By cmac (184), East Quogue on Feb 29, 12 7:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
A wise business decision? so you looked at the cost and the numbers add up? That much money, huh? Not everyone is in business. Of course ALL the children are brilliant, look how well they take tests.
By Anashim (2), East Quogue on Feb 29, 12 8:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
I can't imagine how it will cost 250,000 to knock down that house. It's practically
Falling down already. What a joke except I am not laughing. This is just another time where the wool has been pulled over our eyes. Do we have a surplus of half million dollars to spend on this extravagant purchase? If the residents think this is the end of the spending for this project which has nothing to do with the education of your children, you are in La La land. We can't believe East Quogue Residents ...more
By East Quogue res. (1), East quogue on Feb 29, 12 7:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
No doubt thinking that their reading comprehension is better than yours. Funds set aside for demolition are $150,000 not $250,000 and that is solely to allow for unknown additional expense such as any asbestos remediation. Barring extra expenses, renovation should only be about $50,000. There is nothing "extravagant" about the purchase and 70% of those voting, those who read better than you do, don't believe they were "dupped"(sic) but believe this is a wise investment in the future.

Perhaps ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Feb 29, 12 4:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
The true feeling of the community....I doubt that very much. The total voting bloc was 587, perhaps the word would be voter apathy since about 10% of the community voted. Obviously, the parents who were attending all the activities that were planned the same day as the vote.......hmm.......voted.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 29, 12 9:28 AM
Everyone was given the opportunity to come out to vote. The vote was widely publicized and both sides were publicly displayed on signs etc. not to mention mailings. If the residents chose not to exercise their right then they are the losers or in this case the winners by default. Real Estate is rarely a bad investment. Certainly educating children important for the future. Just so you are aware, I am a senior and I did vote for the land purchase.
By marbil15 (1), East Quogue on Feb 29, 12 1:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
I did not say anything about anyone not being given the opportunity to vote. "Voter apathy" is the phase and it fits those in EQ who did not vote. That includes both yes and no votes. A total of 587 votes were cast in our community. We live in community where only 587 individuals care about what goes on in the EQ UFSD. What does being a senior have to do with voting at the school? Not exercising one's right to vote is a basic freedom we enjoy. It is shameful, that the majority of citizens in ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 29, 12 4:12 PM
The Children from East Quogue have always been at the top of the WHB graduating class !! They have grown to be fine young men and women who have made the community of East Quogue what it is today !! Clearly the education the recieved early on in their lives has helped as they attend some of the best colleges in the Country. kudos to the School Board for putting the Children first !! The Children are our future lets give them every opportunity to become the champions of society. I hope that the "Crusaders" ...more
By Fishmonger (7), east quogue on Feb 29, 12 9:39 AM
4 members liked this comment
It's nice too see first Amendment Rights are alive and well in EQ.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Feb 29, 12 12:55 PM
It costs 25k to wreck that house someone is getting greased if they pay 150k.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Feb 29, 12 10:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you yes voters. I have been writing to purchase this property since two years plus when the asking price was $400,000 and did did not include the demolition cost. I am a E. Q. Grandma who have had 3 generation going to E Q School . I voiced louldy to many on buying this property. As far as the one who said some comment about E Q students. Why do I have a grandson and so many of his friend still being on principal honor roll in Westhampton Beach? Plus might I brag that he is one ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 29, 12 7:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
I know little Johnny is very smart because of East Quoque schools. They all get trophies and special awards. Unfortunately when kids in this country are tested they arent even in the top ten of competing countries. Buildings and salary raises don't help students and their grades. Hard working teachers, and concerned parents help students.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Mar 1, 12 8:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
As a single mom with a child in WHB high school, I cannot afford to pay more rent, which I can guarantee you will be increased because of this. I read that taxes will go up $125/year for each home assessed at 500k. That is a HUGE increase when you look at how reasonable the taxes in EQ currently are. It is true that the EQ district teachers, staff, etc. are outstanding. They helped my special needs child quite a bit. However it was a totally different story when he went over to WHB. They could ...more
By Miss K. (103), East Quogue on Mar 1, 12 9:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
I agree with “crusader” that the heart of the problem here is apathy. I’ve seen it many times before in E.Q. and I’d be curious to know what percentage of E.Q.’s eligible voters actually voted. Seems like every vote here involves a very small piece of the populace.

As for this issue, I find it amazing that so many people were duped into believing that this purchase was clearly needed and wouldn’t impact their taxes over time in return for the questionable ...more
By LIGuy (5), East Quogue on Mar 1, 12 11:34 AM
2 members liked this comment
Miss K. The Oliver property will not increase the property taxes this year as the money was already in a fund. I'm sure we will all see other increases. I believe the money used toward the property was a tuition refund from a over charge from Westhampton. about two years ago. If the property was voted down than the average $500,000 home assessment would of had their school taxes reduced $125.00 in this area only..My property school taxes increased this year $375.00 on a $469,000 assessment. ...more
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Mar 1, 12 12:05 PM
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

George Santayana
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Mar 1, 12 3:24 PM
What does this have to do with the purchase of the Oliver property? Carol
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Mar 1, 12 6:30 PM
To those out there who are concerned about school taxes I offer the following. Does the East Quogue School District intend to pierce the 2% tax cap? My school taxes have gone up over 18% in the last two years. This includes the 2 1/2 and 3% raised given to employees. Six employees, who are not covered under any collective bargaining agreement received 3%. Those same employees do not pay into their health care package. We also employ a highly paid maintenance man who received in excess of $79,000 ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Mar 2, 12 6:27 AM
Crusader You seem to hold a grudge against the school district and its employees!! The issue of the purchase of the property has been settled. Now you are once again attacking the district and its employees .Instead of hiding behind the shadows of this forum and attempting to start trouble with rumors and false accusations The district has invited the public to tour the building and witness first hand the work being done by all its employees Maybe you should take them up on their offer.. Time To ...more
By Fishmonger (7), east quogue on Mar 2, 12 7:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
To Fishmonger,
Now tell me, how is pointing out the facts a grudge? YOU tell me what false information I put on this forum? Certain information is public record if one is knowledgeable and knows where to look. I am not attacking the employees, but pointing out where money can be saved. Salaries and benefits are public record, why are you upset that I am pointing this out? Duplication of services is a waste of taxpayer money. I am not the one who made the decision to duplicate services, the ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Mar 2, 12 7:55 AM
Crusader, Have you ever considered running for a position on the school board? Carol
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Mar 2, 12 12:41 PM
Run for the school board, not a bad idea, can I
count on your vote lol :-)
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Mar 2, 12 4:36 PM
Thankfully, this passed for our great school. Let's hope we can now concentrate on getting the new cell tower for the fire district.
By rightwing (18), East Quogue on Mar 2, 12 2:14 PM
Crusader, Might just be a chance. I think difference of opinions make horse races and I will be all ears. Carol
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Mar 2, 12 7:11 PM
I love when someone tells me spending money by goverment won't raise my taxes.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Mar 3, 12 11:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
So if you are an illegal alien coming to the Hamptons because of the all of the seasonal yard work and rent a share house, your children have an address in town and can attend the school. Then I guess that is good that they are planning on making the school bigger. I'd say raising our taxes so we can accommodate more migrants is certainly a good investment. Thank you enlightened ones for your enlightened vote!
By Chris Nowan (2), EAST QUOGUE on Mar 10, 12 10:06 AM