Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - March 5, 2014

Minutes - March 5, 2014

1.       Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Superintendent Ricca.

2.  Board Reorganization Superintendent Ricca opened nominations for Board Chair. Mrs. Bean nominated Mrs. Aldrich for Chair. There were no further nominations and Mrs. Aldrich was elected unanimously. Mrs. Aldrich nominated Mr. Phillips for Vice Chair. There were no further nominations and Mr. Phillips was elected unanimously. Mr. Phillips nominated Mr. VanDerlip for Treasurer. There were no further nominations and Mr. VanDerlip was elected unanimously. Mr. Phillips nominated Mrs. Bean for Parliamentarian. There were no further nominations and Mrs. Bean was elected unanimously.

3.   Adjust/Review Agenda Superintendent Ricca requested addition of an action item in regard to an amended agreement with Spiral International.

4.       Public Comments None.

5.      Discuss Budget Vote Outcome Superintendent Ricca asked the Board for specifics on how to proceed from here in light of the recent budget defeat. Extensive discussion regarding a plan for reducing the proposed FY15 budget ensued. Mrs. Aldrich suggested that the Board offer the Admin. Team a specific dollar amount and allow the Admin. Team to return to the Board with their recommendations for reductions. Mr. VanDerlip disagreed, saying he believed the Board had gone down that route already. He suggested that the Board assume more of a leadership role in the process by offering ideas as to where cuts could be made and asking the Admin. Team to respond to those suggestions. He suggested floating ideas for reductions to see if there was Board support for any of the proposals.

A list of suggested cuts from board members was started. Mrs. Aldrich said she was uncomfortable with some the proposals because board members are not the educational experts and she felt the Board was being way too directive. Mr. Jones disagreed, saying items on the list being crafted were merely leads for the Admin. Team to explore and did not necessarily represent the final budget. He said items on the list were areas where board members were looking for more information as to what a specific reduction would represent and how it would impact programming.

Mr. Phillips requested further information on two increased budget items, legal fees (11%) and regular education support (42%). Mr. VanDerlip requested clarity on an earlier question in regard to why using an additional $100,000 from the fund balance for the FY15 budget would not be prudent.

There was further back and forth discussion between Superintendent Ricca and the Board as to exactly what the Board wanted him to bring back for consideration. Following that discussion, Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to direct Superintendent Ricca and the Admin. Team to return on March 19th with a list of items for possible reductions to be considered together with the Board; to identify the money that could be saved from each reduction; and to identify the negative impact to students of each reduction. Motion carried unanimously. The Board did not specify a dollar figure for reductions, but the numbers ranged from $200,000 to $300,000.

The Board discussed the timeline for another budget vote, as well as the need to do a better job of communicating with the public.

6.   Review Superintendent Limitations Policy 2.8 – Communication and Support to the Board Tabled.

7.       Discuss Program/Finance Committee Proposal Tabled.

8.       Visit with Director of Recreation Tabled.

9.       Action Item

a. Approve Spiral International Agreement Superintendent Ricca distributed an amended Agreement for board members to review with the explanation that it was merely a clean copy of the one previously approved. Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. Jones, to authorize the Board Chair to sign the Agreement with Spiral International as amended. Motion carried unanimously.

10.   Consent Agenda

a.       Minutes of February 19, 2014

b.       Warrants

Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the February 19, 2014 regular meeting, and Warrants 44 and 45 dated March 13, 2014 in the amounts of $514,530.32 and $15,500.00 respectively. Motion carried unanimously.

11.   Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

12.   Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:13 p.m.



Heather Michaud


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