Spotlight Event: Meet The Candidates Night

Two candidates seek one Board of Ed Seat


This Thursday, the Commack PTA Council invites the community to attend a Meet the Candidates Night.

Along with the budget vote this year, Commack residents will be asked to fill one position on the Board of Education. Running are incumbent Deborah Guber and challenger Daniel Fusco.

“These are challenging times for public education,” explains the Council. “As a community we are seeking individuals who are prepared to confront tough challenges in helping to plan for the education of our youth. This is your opportunity to meet the candidates running for the Commack Board of Education.”

The Council encourages everyone to participate in Meet the Candidates Night to learn more about the candidates who seek to be the community’s advocate for public education and a steward of the district’s resources.


Where: John Mandracchia-Sawmill Intermediate School

When: Thursday, May 10th, 8:00 pm

Why: To be an informed voter.

Cost: Free

JD May 07, 2012 at 06:08 AM
The article was vague on Dan Fusco’s company background. Is this the same Dan Fusco who works for Cashin, Spinelli and Ferretti? The company website states they are Surety Consultants and Construction Managers. http://www.csfllc.com/per/Fusco.htm If this is the company he works for, it appears to also have a history of being involved with and receiving payments on construction projects from other Long Island school districts boards. See Board of Ed Change Order approvals in Baldwin and Half Hollow Hills below. http://www.baldwin.k12.ny.us/pdf/bminutesreorg7605.pdf - see page 19 http://hhh.k12.ny.us/uploaded/User_Folders/districtclerk/JUNE2-08.pdf - see page 8 and 9 (I also admit I am a little confused by these board approved “change orders.” Does that mean the amount of the job quote changed and the company needed additional board approval?) I don’t know if there is a potential conflict, but perhaps someone can ask Dan on meet the candidate night if his company, its affiliates, or any construction clients it acts as a surety for does business or possibly will be doing business with Commack?
Commack Cares May 07, 2012 at 10:38 AM
Not true John D. But nice try. Of course anyone who disagrees with you must be a plant, right? I'm not going away ala Commack Daddy.
Michael May 07, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Hey Cares, you put up a post without saying "a no vote does not lower salaries" You must have forgotten to stay on message.
MJS May 07, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Even if it is so what? He appears to only be an employee not the owner. The company is not involved with Commack schools. The fact that the company he works for could potentially someday be a surety for a construction company doing work on the school does not create a conflict. In fact, the knowledge from the work he does could be invaluable to the Board.
JD May 07, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Wow, the fact that an "employee" may have to vote on money matters concerning his employer is not an issue? As for the "it can't happen here argument" look at Baldwin... "It was moved by Robert B.A. Schoen and seconded by Mary Jo O’Hagan that the Board of Education approves the following Cashin, Spinelli & Ferretti, LLC change orders for work performed in the Baldwin Public Library Construction Project. #21 increased in the amount of $ 1,155.00 #22 increased in the amount of 1,146.82 #23 increased in the amount of 36,872.55 #24 increased in the amount of 2,887.50 #25 increased in the amount of 2,577.96 #26 increased in the amount of 866.25 #27 decreased in the amount of 1,750.00 #28 increased in the amount of 398.48"
Michael May 07, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Wow JD. Ever think he could "abstain" from this hypothetical, non existant, purely speculative vote you seem to be so hyped up about? Or are you afraid he will be forced to be part of the 100% unanimous voting we have now in Commack?
Mary May 07, 2012 at 01:21 PM
At the Commack Community Association meeting Dan Fusco spoke at, he explained that Surety is like an insurance policy and the company he works for represents the insurance companies on the public works projects such as those you listed. He said they do not work directly for owners of the projects.
Concerned Comamck Citizen May 07, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Michael's comment is that Commack Cares adds nothing to the debate. Other than rail about the problems, what has the Fusco/Tampellini team done? We are all aware of the problem. Change, for the sake of change, will not solve anything. Let me hear something specific.
Concerned Comamck Citizen May 07, 2012 at 01:47 PM
To answer the next question when it comes up, I am voting NO on the budget to send a message to the union. And I am will Guber because I hear nothing but negatives form the other side
Michael May 07, 2012 at 02:03 PM
A must read!! Please visit and forward to your friends! http://commack.patch.com/blog_posts/time-for-change-why-commack-needs-a-new-slate-of-trustees-for-its-school-board
JD May 07, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Michael..I am more afraid of our community electing someone without full disclosure. It's unreasonable to ask Dan where he works and to disclose whether there is any potential business conflict? This question did not come out of left field. The company Dan apparently works for has a Long Island presence as a surety /construction business and has had business dealings with other districts. Just look at the Baldwin Board of Ed change orders above. That's not pocket change they are approving. Stating Dan can just abstain on important board contract/budget issues is not a well though out position.
JD May 07, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Mary...just saw your post. Thank you for the additional information. My understanding is that a Surety acts as Guarantor, and if there is a problem with a contractor's work the Surety can become "on the hook" for completion of the work. Maybe someone can ask him to explain what his company does in case of default of a contract. Does his company step in and then seek payment from the district?
Michael May 07, 2012 at 06:25 PM
JD, its not unreasonable to ask where he works, but you did not ask. You implied impropriety and that is unreasonable.
Concerned Comamck Citizen May 07, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Attacking Dan's ethics on this "maybe" issue is a waste of everyone's time. Let's wait until we hear what Dan is proposing to do: facts, not hyperbole
MJS May 07, 2012 at 06:55 PM
JD, ....A Surety doesn't do the work...they just guarantee the contractor that was hired will and if they don't then the surety will go out and obtain another contractor to complete the job. CSF's website says their "construction management division specializes in projects wherein Sureties have become involved by virtue of default."
Michael May 07, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Rail about the problem? You have literally reams of data available to you through these forums highlighting how your money has been spent and how information has been disseminated to the community by the current Board. If that alone is not enough to make you say "its time for a change" I dont know what will.
JD May 07, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Concerned. I am in total agreement, but please be aware Michael is twisting this and trying to get the last word in again. Noone was attacked. Go back to my original post. I do not know if there is an actual conflict and that's the question I stated Dan should be asked given his company's apparent history with other districts. MJS, thank you for the response. I understand what the surety does, but I am still struggling with how Dan's company receives its payments in accordance with these Board of Ed contracts. The Board of Ed of other districts have clearly issued payments to his company before, so I don't think its wrong to ask him how these districts paid his company before under his business model and can that situation arise here.
Michael May 07, 2012 at 07:49 PM
JD, this is what you said: "If this is the company he works for, it appears to also have a history of being involved with and receiving payments on construction projects from other Long Island school districts boards. See Board of Ed Change Order approvals in Baldwin and Half Hollow Hills below. http://www.baldwin.k12.ny.us/pdf/bminutesreorg7605.pdf - see page 19 http://hhh.k12.ny.us/uploaded/User_Folders/districtclerk/JUNE2-08.pdf - see page 8 and 9 (I also admit I am a little confused by these board approved “change orders.” Does that mean the amount of the job quote changed and the company needed additional board approval?)" For someone that only wanted to ask a simple question, you sure knew most of the answer. Im curious, have you asked current board members the same question? and if so, what was the answer?
Mary May 07, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Go to "Meet the Candidate" night this Thursday and ask the questions, he explained his proffessionit to the Commack Community Association at our meeting a couple of weeks ago
MJS May 07, 2012 at 08:46 PM
JD - I see no problem with you asking the question...but you should just ask Dan instead of speculating or listening to others that do.. I think its probably a non-issue as his company does not get involved unless the initial contractor doing the job defaults.. So there's no way his company could ever know in advance which contractor on which job will default... it may never even happen in Commack. Surely this is too attenuated for anyone to use it as an excuse not to be voting for Dan.. It pales in comparison to the fact that Pennacchio got his son-law a teacher position in Commack,,..and I don't see anyone questioning the propriety of that..
'Mack Mom May 08, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Here's my question for all of you. Do you want to continue to do business as usual with Commack Board of Ed or do you want to have the opportunity for change? In the time ms. Guber has been on the board the budget has INCREASED 32% while STUDENTS have paid the price with less and less being offered to them. We are all here to educate the students of this district. IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE! Guber goes this year and whoever is up for reelection goes next year!
JTZ May 08, 2012 at 02:55 AM
JTZ May 08, 2012 at 03:00 AM
3 current board members are teachers or once upon a time teachers. Definitely no conflict of interest negotiating teacher contracts there.
Nancy May 08, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Change is what we need in Commack.
Nancy May 08, 2012 at 04:55 AM
2011-2012 Salaries $354,057 Superintendent of Schools $237,046 Asst. Superintendent $244,177 Asst. Superintendent $235,015 Asst. Superintendent 152,119 Asst. Director 174,879 Director 174,879 Director 153,725 Director 171,821 Director 135,000 Administrative Asst. 164,922 Asst. Principal 170,796 Asst. Principal 162,643 Principal 147,607 Asst. Principal 183,279 Principal 165,703 Asst. Principal 143,859 Asst. Principal 156,919 Asst. Principal 167,996 Asst. Principal 183,802 Principal 150,666 Principal 162,643 Asst. Principal 147,607 Principal 177,679 Principal 171,821 Principal 155,000 Principal 130,344 Chairperson 130,093 Coordinator 135,600 Coordinator 154,919 Coordinator 146,612 Coordinator 132,800 Coordinator 132,800 Coordinator All before one student is taught a single lesson!! The Salary of Governor Cuomo is $179,000 per year! The President of the United States $400,000 per year! Your Vote is your voice! Vote No and vote Fusco!
Nancy May 08, 2012 at 05:52 AM
NYSED.gov Ed Management Services New York State School Administrator Salary Disclosure http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/admincomp/ Here is the link these salaries include benefits 2011-2012 school year they will be more next year!
Jim Tampellini May 09, 2012 at 01:28 AM
If anyone is interested Commack's Administrator Salary Disclosure report (showing the number of administrators making in excess of the $123,000 salary threshold) for 2012-/2013, is now posted at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/admincomp/#Data. Notably still 32 people w/the lowest salary at $135.5k (last yr was $130k) Superintendent of Schools 273,598 Asst. Superintendent 198,558 Asst. Superintendent 187,318 Asst. Superintendent 176,000 Asst Coordinator 160,768 Asst. Principal 152,344 Asst. Principal 162,768 Administrative Asst 160,000 Coordinator 138,312 Coordinator 173,869 Coordinator 155,161 Coordinator 143,928 Coordinator 135,504 Coordinator 160,768 Director 159,921 Director 181,121 Director 150,559 Director 150,000 Principal 156,800 Principal 153,679 Principal 181,121 Principal 168,961 Asst. Principal 181,121 Asst. Principal 172,080 Asst. Principal 168,961 Principal 190,889 Principal 145,000 Principal 178,321 Asst. Principal 171,300 Asst. Principal 144,536 Asst. Principal 171,104 Principal 170,581
Jim Tampellini May 09, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Here are some comparisons to similar districts from the Administrator Salary Disclosure report for 2012-2013, basically shows Commack has more administrators making over $123k per student, except for over the top expensive Syosset (where supt. makes $400k yr): School/ Budget/ # Students/ Exp.Per Pupil & #Admin Over $123K Commack/ $171.2M/ 7,242/ $23,660/ 32 = 1 per 225 students Smithtown/ $215.3M/ 10,297/ $20,913/ 30 = 1 per 343 students Northport/ $153.9M/ 6,250/ $24,631/ 28 = 1 per 233 students Connetquot/ $169.7M/ 6,695/ $25,359/ 25 = 1 per 267 students Half Hollow Hills / $221.9M/ 9,404/ $23,598/ 40 = 1 per 235 students Syosset/ $198M/ 6,525/$30,359/ 36 = 1 per 181 students
Ell May 09, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Commack honored as one of the 2012 Top 100 Schools in the Nation!! The Current Board, Superintendent, Teachers, Staff and Students along with their Parents are to be Thanked and Congratulated! And it was ALL done while keeping our cost per pupil right near the targeted State Average!!! We must keep our Program and fine Community of Educators from being decimated by the uninformed and short-sighted!!!
MJS May 09, 2012 at 10:13 AM
CHS's ranking is a great achievement but it is beside the point. As discussed throughout these Patch blogs the issue is not academic performance..it's fiscal responsibility. This news should not distract the Community from the fact that under the Board's leadership the District has been fiscally irresponsible with our taxpayer dollars. Just read Mr. Tampellini's blog post to see all the facts and information. This news does nothing to change those facts.. And nothing will change from a fiscal standpoint unless a new Board is put in place..


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something