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May 8, 2012 7:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Four Seek Two Seats On Southampton School Board

May 9, 2012 10:52 AM

Four candidates—including one write-in candidate—are vying for two open seats on the Southampton School Board this year. David Dubin, who has served as board president for the past two years, has decided not to seek reelection, citing other responsibilities drawing on his time. His open seat is a full, five-year term. The second open seat has been vacant since October, when former board member Amy Pierson took a job as community relations specialist for the school district, and the district chose not to fill the seat until the spring election. That vacant seat is for four years.

The candidate with the most votes will take the full five-year term, and will take office on July 1, since Mr. Dubin’s term ends on June 30. The person with the second highest number of votes will take the unexpired four-year term and take office immediately after the election.

Voters will choose board members and vote on the district’s proposed $59.5 million budget on Tuesday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Southampton Intermediate School music room.

Charles Styler

Mr. Styler, who ran in last year’s election, is throwing his hat in the ring again this year and hopes to bring a scrutinizing eye to the School Board.

“I guarantee that I won’t sit there and stamp everything,” he said. “I want to see something better for the students.”

As the New York State-imposed tax levy cap grips school budgets, Mr. Styler said he has a few ideas to stay on top of things and get the most out of a tight spending plan.

“We definitely want to make sure we don’t waste even a dollar anymore,” he said. Mr. Styler said that he would push for a year-round budget committee instead of one that ends when the budget is put in place.

Mr. Styler would also like to create a committee that would look into unfunded state and federally-imposed mandates and, with participation from other districts, act as a force to possibly change said mandates.

In addition, Mr. Styler would like to see an upgrade in technology at the school. Referencing the Kahn Academy, an online not-for-profit educational tool that gives teachers the ability to track their students’ progress, Mr. Styler said that the district needs to implement a program that would allow students to learn at their own pace.

An East End resident since 1951, he is a member of the North Sea Community Association, a past president of the Concerned Citizens for Southampton and works as an audio-visual technician for Southampton Town’s SEA-TV. Mr. Styler is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served as a radio officer in charge of naval and other marine vessels as well as a shore radio officer in Southampton. He also worked as a teletype agent for Swiss Airlines at John F. Kennedy International Airport and at IBM as a customer engineer, maintaining office equipment.

James C. Wilson

A father of two Southampton High School students, Maude and Lily, Mr. Wilson is looking to make a contribution to the school community now that his girls are soon to leave for college.

“I think the board is facing difficult years ahead with the funding cap and I think I have the qualities the community needs to make good decisions,” he said.

A graduate of Vassar College, he served in the National Guard Reserves and earned the New York State Military Commendation Medal. With years of travel under his belt, he also earned a double master’s degree in history and library science, and worked in the Smithsonian Institution Archives in Washington, D.C. Mr. Wilson currently owns his own property management and real estate investment firm.

With a background in finances, Mr. Wilson said he would be able to give a very thoughtful and cohesive take on everything that’s going on with the school budget instead of “hack and slash.”

“It requires some thoughtful understanding and a comprehensive feel for where the money should go,” he added. “Having a board that works smoothly together without a lot of personality issues is important when you’re involved in making contract negotiations and working with on-going budget issues.”

In addition to serving on the board of the Friends of the Rogers Memorial Library, Mr. Wilson has also served on the board of a non-profit housing developer in Washington, D.C. After being diagnosed with lymphoma five years ago, he completed chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and went on to complete an Iron Man triathlon.

Andrew J. Brindle

Hailing from England, but with roots in Southampton, Mr. Brindle hopes to make a long-term commitment by joining the Southampton School Board.

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There is no doubt that Jacqueline Robinson should be on the board. Knowing the East End of Long Island and the folks who reside there this should be a No-Brainer, Get out and vote for Jacqueline!!!!!!!!
By MACDADDY (49), SOUTHAMPTON on May 11, 12 7:00 PM
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