Saturday, May 16, 2015

NOW IS THE TIME!!! ----------- by Larry Fillmore

Now is the time for all residents of our community to get involved before it is too late.  This coming Tuesday night, the Town Council is going to vote on allowing the School Board to utilize their Capital Reserve Fund; Article 21 School Warrant Article; 2015-2016 School Budget Warrant Articles and finally School Budget Validation Referendum.  So what does this mean to you?  The Town Council directed the School Board to cut $600,000.00 from their budget and the School Board is short approximately $44,000.00.  However, without the use of the Capital Reserve and the Bond Proceeds it will be a lot more than $44,000.00 short.

The School Board came in “flat” which means that they did not need any additional local revenue to make their budget.  This means no tax increase because of the School Department.  However, the Town Council did not believe it was legal to use the Capital Reserve Fund and the Bond Proceeds and so they challenged it.  After many emails and legal reviews (at a very expensive price tag) it was determined that the use of both the Capital Reserve Fund and Bond Proceeds are perfectly legal.  There is, however, a catch to using the Bond Proceed prior to the project being completed.  If the project runs over budget, the Town would have to use our Undesignated Fund to cover the cost.  I do not believe this for a minute.  The additional funds would have to come out of the School Department and Mr. Green has already addressed this issue by stating there are funds to prevent this from happening.

Since all legal issues have been resolved and the risk of using Bond Proceeds prior to completion of the project has been mitigated there should be no objection to the School Department’s budget.  Unfortunately, the Town Council on Tuesday night will probably vote down the School Department’s budget and require additional cuts is made.  These cuts could come from sports, eliminating one or more nurses, and some other areas that would be detrimental to our students.  There should be no reason for this to occur since the School Department’s budget does not require any additional local funds (a raise in our taxes).

The Town Council has to approve the School Department’s budget before it can be place on the ballot for the people to vote on it.

Please contact your local Councilor or all of them and express your views on this situation.  The Council has said they would abide by their constituents views.  Below is a listing of the Councilors contact information.  Call them, email them or show up Tuesday night and during Audience Participation and express your feelings.

Chair Councilor Pesce – 577-4222
Vice Chair Councilor Roger Bickford – 353-8946
Councilor Garrison– 353-2547   gregg,
Councilor Mark Lunt – 353-9903
Councilor Christopher Brunelle – 353-4430
Councilor Eric Metivier – 353-5939
Councilor Dale James Crafts 402-0822

This is critical to moving this community forward so please voice your feelings.


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