This is the third of a series of candidate profiles that will appear on Massapequa Patch. Stay with us for more profiles leading up to Tuesday's election.
Dianne Sheffield is a candidate in the May 15 Massapequa School Board election.
She has been a resident of Massapequa for 52 years and has one child in the school system and one child who has graduated.
Sheffield is an auditor who works for the Plainview Old Bethpage School District and has worked in the Massapequa School District as a claims auditor. She is a member of the Massapequa School District Budget and Finance Committee.
We recently sat down with Sheffield and heard some of her opinions on the issues facing voters.
On why she supports the school budget:
"Because we're not cutting programs and it's within the tax cap. Can we do better? Yes, I think we can. But I don't want to see the budget defeated, because that will lead to chaos."
On administration in the district:
"Administration in this district is top heavy compared to other districts on Long Island. I don't even know what these people do...In my mind as a business person you need to have clear lines of authority. I don't know who's in charge of what. We have department chairpeople. We have building chairpeople. How about we just have a science chair and the science chair is responsible for the science curriculum? It shouldn't have to matter if you have 80,000 students or 8,000 students. The curriculum is going to be the same."
On administrators' salaries:
"I think this is a Long Island issue, it's not just a Massapequa issue. Administrators' salaries all over Long Island have gone up so much in the last 10 to 15 years. There is a point where we do have to compete with other districts, I understand that. But I think they've gone up too quickly."
On teachers' salaries:
"If we create a good environment for teachers and we give teachers a place they want to come and feel that they're contributing and they're valued, then we don't have to compete by throwing oodles and oodles of money at them because there are other things of value we can offer them."
On unfunded mandates:
"It's something we have to deal with just like the price of gas going up. It's not something we can control in Massapequa. Yes we can try to change Albany, but that's not an easy task. And we can voice opposition to it, but it is what it is."