New Board of Ed Member Aims to Help Control District Spending

Matthew Morton will take his seat on the Board of Education in July.

Matthew Morton set to take his seat on the Smithtown's Board of Education in July, a seat he won uncontested back in May.

With current board member , the seat belonged to Morton, a St. James resident. He admitted he was surprised no one else decided to run for the vacant seat and relishes the opportunity to make a difference.

"I've lived in the town pretty much my whole life, my kids have been in the school district for a couple years now, and I just want to be involved and have somewhat of a say or an opinion or a vote as to the direction things are going to go in," he said. 

Morton has daughters in third and fifth grade at Mills Pond Elementary. Outside of being a board member, Morton runs his own company All The Answers, a medical call center in Stony Brook, and is a Stony Brook University graduate with a bachelor degree in economics.

Morton said there are many obstacles facing the district he has to help rectify as a board member, but has a primary focus of where the money is being spent within the district.

"There's always the issue of where are we spending our money, where can we best put the money we have into what programs," he said. "I don't know what programs are more important than other ones, I'd like to hear both sides ... obviously you can't make everybody happy in this economy but it all boils down to what's best for the children of Smithtown."

The reasoning behind his decision to run for the board is simple.

"I know it's a thankless job, it's a volunteer position, but I live in this community and this is probably the best way I could have my voice heard," he said.

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Brian Whitehurst June 15, 2012 at 02:33 PM
God bless you Matt for standing up. You're not entirely correct about it being a thankless job, but many times the criticism you receive will be louder than the praise. Do not believe you are living in a vacuum. Use the internet and social media to keep in touch with like minded constituents. Please keep in mind that Smithtown spends over $21K per student. Where we could have our children educated for less than half that in private schools. For that price, talks of program cuts should be unheard of unless there are significant spending cuts. I like to think that "what's the best for the children of Smithtown" is to maintain a town that they can afford to live in. And as School board member you have direct control over the largest single expense the townspeople face. Do not fall for the mantra that a 2-3% increase is acceptable. Stand in Truth and Love and you will succeed.
Sticks60 June 18, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Matt thankyou for taking the time to be interviewed by Peter. As I am part of the general public I had no idea of what point of view you are bring with you as you take your seat on the board. As a professional who runs his own business may I suggest that it you have the time it might prove informative if you could meet one on one with both past and present members of the board that have similar business backgrounds to yours. It might give you a better understanding of how this particular system works. I do wish you all the luck and please remember there are a number of citizens out there who agree with you that the first consideration must be what is best for the children. Second is what is a reasonable in cost to achieve it. I guess that is how you have been successful. What is best for the customer and how to acheive it at a reasonable cost.
scsddad June 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Matt will need all the luck he can get trying to work with that board of misfits


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