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Poll Reaction: Voters Split Over Proposed Budget

District residents offer different viewpoints on the proposed $97.2M 2011-2012 budget, polls open until 10 p.m.

Hauppauge voters offered differing opinions on whether the district's proposed for the 2011-2012 school year should be approved on Tuesday afternoon.

A steady stream of cars filled the parking lot of  , as security guards double parked cars so district residents could head inside cast their ballot. 

"I am hoping that everyone votes yes. It’s not very expensive to maintain the programs that we have," said district resident Erik Tjersland, who is also at teacher in Smithtown Central School District.

Tjersland said he supports the budget for local children's education, although his young daughter won't enter Hauppauge schools for a few years to come.

However, 23-year-old resident Jimmy Dowling said that voting yes in favor of the budget would be continuing to support a failing educational system.

"If we do not change our course now, we are going to be fleeced by high taxes," he said. "Taxes scores are going up, student test scores keep going down... What are we doing? Why are we supporting this system?"

Dowling said he briefly considered against incumbents Susan Hodosky and Pat Lesser who are up for re-election, but did not due to the extensive time demands.

"This is outrageous. My taxes keep rising every year after year," said a male voter, who declined to give his name but echoed Dowling's viewpoint.

If passed, the proposed budget would increase the tax levy by 3.46 percent, representing a 3.4 percent tax rate increase for Town of Islip residents and a 3.4 percent increase for Town fo Smithtown residents.

The polls are open until 10 p.m. at the former Whiporwhil Elementary School, Hauppauge Public Schools Administrative Offices.

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