I thought I would highlight parts of the 12/2/2010 BOE Meeting. Namely, time marks in the video below:
10:38 Union Update by Chairman Brittingham
13:15 Finance/Budget Update by Perugini
14:00 Explanation of Special Education Budget ~$500K Shortfall by Dr. Florio
23:17 Motion to Discuss Special Ed Shortfall w/TC Budget Committee by Perugini
24:45 Planning Committee Update/CHS Boys Locker Room by Dixon/Mascianna
31:21 Motion to Engage in Design Services by Dixon
34:28 Mr. Mrowka's 'Recollection' of the Locker Room by Mrowka
37:37 Policy 3150 BOE *Mandatory* Budget Adoption Requirement by Dixon
A few thoughts/comments on the meeting. Regarding the CHS Boys Locker room, despite the planning committee's wishes to fix the existing locker room it's apparent that some on the BOE are hoping that a field house will be the only answer. I believe that since the locker room has been sufficient there's no need to build a field house. We should focus on making the existing space work with the money we do have in the capital budget. The one unknown is what the specific ADA compliance items will be as well as cost to implement. This could very well crush the budget for the CHS Boys locker room.
Regarding Policy 3150....there have been various discussions on this during topic. The issue at hand is that BOE has, for the last couple of years, reached a stalemate in adopting a BOE budget even though it's been adopted before the 2/15 deadline each year. There was concern over what happens if the BOE cannot agree and pass a budget by the 2/15 deadline? Last year, when the first vote to pass the 2010-2011 budget failed...Peter Massey suggested that, by default, the Superintendent's budget moves forward to the TC, LOL. As far as I'm concerned, that would be a cop-out.
Alan Sobol and the Policy Committee changed one word in policy 3150 which now reads: "The Board of Education shall present an itemized estimate of the cost for the operation of the school system to the town manager who shall pass it on, with or without recommendations, to the Town Council for final disposition."
In other words...the BOE is legally obligated to pass a budget. It's the responsibility of the BOE members to get the budget done. We shall get it done. This is a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. I also believe this forces the BOE to compromise on the budget, if a comprimise-situation presents itself. This will force more meetings to discuss the budget in public and work through issues before the deadline.