By Dr. Brian J. Blake
---- — KINGSTON - Greetings! In this edition of the Sanborn Connection, I would like to provide an update on the School District Warrant and the Deliberative Session held on February 6, 2014. About 180 people came out to listen to the presentations and offer comments on the warrant. Thank you to those who attended the meeting that night.
Following the introductions and Pledge of Allegiance, the articles were read by the Moderator and discussed by those in attendance. Warrant Article 3, the budget article, was presented by the chairman of the Budget Committee, Mr. Barry Gluck.
The presentation included an overview of the budget development process, key increases, recommended reductions, and tax rate impact information. Following his presentation, the Article was amended by Ms. Jan Bennett, School Board Chair, to reduce the proposed budget. In her comments, Ms. Bennett indicated the areas for the reductions and reasoned that the Board had heard and understood the concerns of the communities regarding the anticipated increase in taxes.
The reduced budget amount still contains some of the funding necessary to meet increasing demands, but removed items that were proposed to enhance the education we provide our students. After some discussion, the voters approved the amendment and then agreed to place the new amount on the Warrant. The proposed budget for the Sanborn Regional School District for fiscal year 2014-2015 is $33,458,911. The default budget stands at $33,199,985.
Article 4 was presented to the voters and discussed briefly before being placed on the warrant. Article 4 would allow the School District to retain a fund balance at the end of the fiscal year, much the same way that towns do, to off-set taxes in future years or for strict emergency purposes. The amount that the school district would be allowed to retain would be UP TO 2.5% of the net appropriations for the district. This does NOT allow the District to spend any more than was appropriated during the previous vote but rather provide a safeguard for the District. The School Board and Budget Committee ask for your support on this article.
In my next column, I will present and discuss Articles 5 through 8. If you have any questions regarding the budget or any of the warrant articles, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.