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Steady Turnout at the Polls Despite Damp Weather

Board of Education candidates campaigning till the last minute, handing out fliers to incoming voters.

The damp weather couldn't put out the passion behind Commack School District's budget vote and Board of Education election. 

Election worker Brittany Pulley said there's been a steady stream of voters turning up to cast their ballots at Commack High School, one of two polling places for Commack district taxpayers. 

"It's been pretty busy, but it's difficult to tell you the turn out given that voting it split between two schools," Pulley said. 

While exact number of votes cast as of 5 p.m was not available, Pulley's observations of a steady stream of voters was seconded by Debbie Virga, Commack's director of community relations. Virga, dressed in a bright red peacoat, stood outside the high school answering voter's questions on the budget and school issues. 

Many residents remarked they were surprised to see Board of Education candidate Daniel Fusco and Board president Mary Jo Masciello standing outside the high school, just feet beyond a chalked 100-foot line mandated by New York State Board of Elections. Both were handing out fliers and soliciting voters, Fusco for his own campaign and Masciello on behalf of incumbent Deborah Guber. 

"I've been standing out here since 6 a.m.," Fusco said.

Voters heading to the booths to cast their votes on the proposed $171 million budget were split on both sides of the fence, some for it and others against it.

"I read the information that was sent to me and made a decision based upon my children going to school and what I want for them the future.

"I voted for the budget," said district taxpayer Marc Sontarp. "I don't want them to eliminate any teachers. I want the children to have a better education. They are going to be in this school district for a long time and I want them to get the quality education they deserve." 

Another man, who wished not to be named, said he voted against the budget as felt the teachers and administrators could have made more concessions instead of cutting student programs. 

Yet, those cuts are what persuaded others to vote in favor of the budget. 

"I feel very strong it should not be cut in any way at all, so I voted in favor of this year's budget," said woman, who only identified herself as a former adjunct professor at Dowling College. "Schools need the money. I know a lot of people feel they throw money away on silly things, like education, but they have to keep going and most of the budget is already in place in teachers' salaries. People think they are voting something down, that they aren't." 

Commack School District polls will close at 9 p.m. with the result of the budget vote and Board of Education election announced soon afterwards. 

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Michael Lowell May 16, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Peace, Love, DEFEATING FUSCO!! It's so terrific that finally justice has been served... a HORRIBLE man gets his karma.
Rosie Fuller May 16, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Budget passes...Dan Fusco loses perfect ending for the kids of Commack and Dan Fusco!!!!! Go home Dan...Mr.Know-it-all. You got what you deserve. All the chaos you caused on here and everywhere else is the reason behind your loss. Mom's in the Orthodontist office were even talking about how poorly you have conducted yourself. Go take your circus somewhere else!
susan r May 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Yeah, Dan lost! Dr. James's contract will always have an $8,000 car allowance in it! Fantastic, way to go, how come the mom's in the orthodontist office were not complaining about that??
susan r May 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Or the fact that he received a $17,000 raise BEFORE he froze his salary! Great job Commack, keep wasting money and one day there will be no money left to waste!
Joe C. May 16, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Yes... GREAT JOB COMMACK! You will all keep paying the price $$ for your ignorance and willful blindness to the truth.... Just keep voting YES for more taxes and higher salaries for District employees..and YES to less teachers and programs/clubs for our kids... and when your kids are all gone b/c they can't afford to live here and can't sell your house to try and be with them b/c your property taxes are too high and no one can afford them... .. Let' see who will be laughing then...
Friend of the Farm May 16, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Does anyone else see something wrong with these pictures? The board that votes on issues unanimously solicits voters for a fellow board member? Commacks director of community relations solicits voters for a board member?
Met May 16, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I believe they were asking people to vote for the budget.
Paul May 16, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Are we being set up for this again? It's great to be #1 http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/education&id=7778676
John Gruber May 16, 2012 at 05:07 PM
anyone who sees this as a victory is as short-sighted as the idiots on the BOE
John Gruber May 16, 2012 at 05:11 PM
god, reading that makes me sick. What makes me even more sick is that people will defend it
John Gruber May 16, 2012 at 05:15 PM
only in Commack are cut classes and increased deficit spending considered victories.
Victoria May 16, 2012 at 05:16 PM
No, the President of the Board told me to vote for Guber as I approached. That is wrong.
Paul May 16, 2012 at 05:19 PM
And voted to let it continue.
JTZ May 16, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Yes, she handed me a Guber card
Just The Facts May 17, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Proof of the more money than brains theory
Paul May 17, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Met - Can you read? "Both were handing out fliers and soliciting voters, Fusco for his own campaign and Masciello on behalf of incumbent Deborah Guber" from the story.
susan r May 17, 2012 at 06:30 PM
John do not try to understand the ignorance of some people - you will give yourself a headache!! Maybe one day they will get it ???
Met May 17, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Paul,why would a board member not support another board memberwho said would vote for the budget when her opponent said he would vote against it?
Paul May 17, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Maybe because it looks so wrong to do.
Met May 17, 2012 at 08:11 PM
How does it look wrong? I believe you normally endorse thviews of people you agree with. That's how our system of elections work.
Paul May 17, 2012 at 08:40 PM
quid pro quo ?
Met May 17, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Endorsing someone who's views align with your's is quite a bit different than doing something and getting something in return.
DeeCom May 17, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Too bad this wasn't posted before voting. People have short memories.
Paul May 18, 2012 at 12:27 AM
And thats the way it should look to the public eye
Met May 18, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Paul, sorry I don' t understand your response.
GM May 18, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Friend- you certainly are touching on a valid point that highlights a murky situation : a BOE Trustee using a district contractor, whose contract you vote on, as your campaigner, in front of the polls on election day. There's an ethical question at hand worth discussing. I would expect, at the least, Ms. Guber should abstain from voting on this contract in the future.
JTZ May 18, 2012 at 02:39 AM
LOL. So then it will be 4-0?

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