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Tuckahoe's Collins Runs Unopposed for School Board

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – Tuckahoe residents will have two decisions to make when they vote in Tuesday's school election. They will have to decide whether to approve the school's 2012-13 budget, and they will have the chance to give Board of Education member Michael Collins a vote of confidence.

Collins, 48, was sworn into office in mid-October to fill the unexpired term of Bronxville resident James Oliverio, who resigned in September after serving more than eight years on the board. He said he wanted to serve as a trustee "to find new ways to elevate the overall performance of the district's students despite limited financial resources, and to help the district negotiate a new contract with the teachers that is fair but will not require additional program cuts in the future as a result of the tax cap."

The tax levy cap that has loomed over the 2012-13 budget process may be helpful to taxpayers, but it may not be the best solution, Collins said.

"While the tax cap clearly will help control the unsustainable pattern of excessive tax increases, it is, nevertheless, a bit of political theater and a gimmick," he said. "The fundamental problem facing school districts was not on the revenue side but on the cost side. A cost cap would be far more meaningful to school districts than a tax cap. But that would require some major changes, such as repealing the Triborough Amendment, and Albany lacks the political courage to make such bold moves."

Born in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx, Collins has been a Tuckahoe resident since 1995. He is an attorney with the Manhattan law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC. He has practiced law in New York City for more than 20 years, the past 15 years as a labor and employment lawyer representing management.

He served as a coach for the Eastchester Youth Soccer Association from 2005 to 2008 and is a former Big Brother with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Westchester.

He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Manhattan College and earned his Juris Doctor with honors from Rutgers Law School in 1991. He was editor of the Rutgers Law Review from 1990-91.

Collins has been married for 17 years and has two sons, Michael in ninth grade and Nicholas in fifth grade, both of whom attend Tuckahoe schools.

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