Shaker schools session revisits Gale School, approves 8 warrant articles

  • Belmont resident and Save Our Gale School Committee member Woody Fogg speaks at Shaker Regional School District's deliberative session Wednesday. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 2/9/2017 12:05:31 AM

Even with the topic absent from this year’s warrant, Shaker Regional School District just can’t get away from the Gale School debate.

Save Our Gale School Committee member Woody Fogg asked during the district’s deliberative session Wednesday whether the $71,000 approved last year would be renewed in the proposed 2017-18, $22,475,634 operating budget (a 1.4 percent increase over last year).

The committee has been trying for years to restore the 1894 building, which currently sits unused on Belmont school property. Last year, voters approved an amended warrant article that advised the Save Our Gale School Committee to form a nonprofit and raise funds.

If they did that in a year, the article stated the school board was under advisement to give the school to the nonprofit. And the $71,000 set aside would help move the school onto a Concord Street private property.

Save Our Gale School Committee said Wednesday they did form a nonprofit. The school board originally responded that another warrant article was needed to transfer the property.

But Fogg, after reading aloud the text of the 2016 warrant article, said that would be redundant, and school board members seemed to agree. They planned to revisit the issue with an attorney.

“I want to make sure we don’t spend another year spinning wheels,” Fogg said.

Wednesday’s meeting did move onto new topics. Belmont resident Jon Pike proposed reducing the operating budget by $1 million, but he was met with stiff opposition.

Belmont Middle School teacher-librarian Pat Piscetta called the proposed cut “shameful,” especially given that Shaker Regional School District spends less per pupil compared to other nearby districts.

The difference, in some cases, is almost one-third less.

During the voice vote on the amendment, Pike voiced the lone “aye” from the back of the room, and the motion failed.

Voters also unanimously approved a warrant article proposing that Senate Bill 2 election rules be rescinded.

This and the other seven warrant articles were accepted by voters Wednesday, who will cast their ballots on March 14 at Belmont High School.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to accurately reflect the point Belmont resident Pat Piscetta made during Wednesday’s meeting. 

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