Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - January 15, 2014

Minutes - January 15, 2014


1.       Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

2.       Adjust/Review Agenda No changes.

3.       Public Comments None.

4.       FY15 Budget Forum A large crowd attended. The Board listened to different narratives and various opinions in regard to the proposed budget. Following discussion, Mr. Jones presented his ideas for reducing the budget, but acknowledged that these changes would not result in a huge reduction in the tax rate. Mr. VanDerlip agreed with Mr. Jones. Mr. Phillips agreed with Mr. Jones in terms of proposed reductions and said he even had some ideas of his own but felt now wasn’t the time to introduce them. He said he did not believe the Board needed to go that route in order to pass this budget. Mr. Phillips went on to say that the Board needed to be cognizant of timing and there needed to be a focused discussion on possibilities for reductions.

Discussion continued about ways to innovate the budget process for next year. Following that discussion, Mrs. Aldrich suggested that the Board adopt the proposed budget and take input from tonight’s meeting into the next budget session. She said she did not support any alterations to the proposed budget at this point. Mr. VanDerlip and Mr. Phillips both asked for time to digest the information they heard this evening. Mr. Phillips said he appreciated tonight’s thoughtful, respectful discussion and suggested that if there were going to be further reductions, the Board should give the Administrative Team a number and let them decide how the reductions occur. A question about the process for using the fund balance was raised. Mr. Jones said his opinion was not to use more of the fund balance; Superintendent Ricca agreed.

Mr. Phillips suggested a special meeting for next Wednesday in order to consider the information heard at tonight’s meeting, as well as the possibility of reductions. The tax impact of any proposed cuts was discussed. Superintendent Ricca said $95,000 in cuts equates to about one cent on the tax rate. Mr. VanDerlip asked to hear more specifically what the concerns were for using an additional $100,000 from the fund balance for next year’s budget. Mr. Phillips suggested that board members go home and consider the impact of a $200,000 reduction in the budget and return next Wednesday to have the discussion. The decision on where to reduce will be left to the Administrative Team. Mrs. Braun said she liked this idea. Superintendent Ricca warned the Board that finding $200,000 in reductions would impact teachers. Mr. Jones believes this will help the voters recognized what the choices are. Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to reconvene next Wednesday to consider a $200,000 reduction in the budget. Motion carried unanimously.

5.       Consent Agenda

a.       Minutes of January 8, 2014

b.       Warrants

Mrs. Bean moved, seconded by Mr. Phillips, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the January 8, 2014 regular meeting, Warrants 34, 35 and 36 dated January 16, 2014 in the amounts of $540,229.21, $12,916.11 and $4,000 respectively, and Warrants 37 and 38 dated January 30, 2014 in the amounts of $918,796.25 and $24,000.00 respectively. Motion carried unanimously.

6.       Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

7.       Executive Session On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to enter Executive Session at 9:43 p.m., with the superintendent remaining. On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to leave Executive Session at 9:47 p.m.

a.       Legal Matter

8.   Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:47 p.m.



Heather Michaud





© 2015 Montpelier Public Schools