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Smaller budget goes to Pembroke voters amid shortfall

  • William Allaire speaks during a special budget committee meeting Thursday evening at Pembroke Academy on Nov. 2, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ



Monitor staff
Friday, March 09, 2018

After an unexpected $1 million school budget shortfall spiked everyone’s taxes this year, the budget will be the single greatest item of contention this year.

Hot topic:The school board has recommended a $25.32 million budget, a reduction of over $1 million from this year’s budget in hopes of giving taxpayers a break next year. But the budget committee is demanding even deeper cuts, and has put forward a $24.55 million spending plan.

The school board has been vehemently against the budget committee’s recommendation. The board’s proposal already includes cutting six teachers and 10 non-certified employees, and they say cutting additional dollars will require even further reductions to teaching and support staff.

Budget: The proposed operating budget put forward by the budget committee is $24.55 million, down $1.96 million from this year’s budget. If approved, along with all other warrant articles, the tax rate will go down an estimated $2.11, which is about $528 less on a $250,000 home.

The proposed operating budget put forward by the school board is $25.32 million, down $1.19 million from this year’s budget. If approved, along with all other warrant articles, the tax rate will go down an estimated 95 cents, which is about $238 less on a $250,000 home.

Noteworthy articles: The warrant will be cluttered with petitioned articles this year. Two have to do with converting the Pembroke to an SB 2 annual district format. It will require a ⅗ majority to pass, and the school board is opposed. Another article would put $3,600 toward recording and live-streaming school board meetings. The school board and budget committee recommend it. Still another article, also on the warrant by petition, would add two new members to the school board.

Contested races: School board member Clinton Hanson, Jr. is being challenged by Stephanie Ferreira and Eugene Gauss. Laura Eldridge and Jill McNeil are also competing to be the school district treasurer.

When and where:The school district meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Pembroke Academy. Ballot voting will be held Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Three Rivers School.