City asked to cut $500K from school budget
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | March 27,2014
The Rutland City School Board has asked the administration to find $500,000 to cut from the failed $48 million budget.
“All I did was pick a number,” Chairman Peter Mello said Wednesday. “I wanted to give the administration a parameter, and that was a parameter I just picked.”
Mello — who was re-elected to the top seat when the board reorganized Monday night — said the board intends to have a revised budget to put before the voters in May. He said the request to the administration would give the board a target to discuss.
“What would the staffing portion and what would the programs look like?” he said. “As chairman, my priority is education. I’m concerned what a half-million in cuts will do to staff and do to schools. I’m hoping it won’t come to that. It’ll be up to the board to talk about it and decide.”
Once a number is decided on, Mello said, the board must choose a date to revote and schedule a public information meeting. He said the meeting has to be warned at least five days in advance and at least seven days prior to the vote.
The $48,672,312 school budget was voted down 1,290-1,192 at town meeting. Mello said an analysis of the voting results showed that the “no” votes had remained roughly constant during the last couple of years while the “yes” votes had declined.
The 2013 budget approval, for example, was by a vote of 2,174-1,485. Mello said those numbers point out the need for a more concerted effort to get out the “yes” votes. Mello said he still believed the defeat was more about statewide property tax rates than anything in the local budget.
A call to Superintendent Mary Moran was not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.