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Town Talk: 1-23-10

WCS school board begins budget process

On Jan. 11, the Warrensburg School District's Budget committee began their process of debating and drafting a financial plan for a 2010-11 budget.

The school board chose members of the Citizens Advisory Committee, which is empowered to help draft a budget.

This year's advisory committee consists of: Elaine Cowin, Sheila Mender, Terry Leguire, Michael Currie and Diane Angel.

At this panel's first meeting, school officials said that with the drastic reductions in State Aid and the scheduled pay hikes for employees and increased expenses of their benefits, the school district's tax levy was projected to increase 14.5 percent unless offsetting reductions are made.

Cowin stated the Citizens Advisory Committee is the "sounding board for the community," and she was concerned over potential job cuts, and how $2.2 million dollars of the fund balance could perhaps be used to prevent it from happening. School superintendent Timothy Lawson stated that the lines of communication between the taxpayers and the board need to be open.

Currie stated that he thinks the Citizens Advisory Committee has to represent a cross-section of the community, including taxpayers, advising the board to provide "affordable value" in education.

Warrensburg School board member Dean Moore suggested that advisory committee members should gather input from the public on what direction the school board should take. School board president John MicGlire suggested that citizens not only air criticisms of the budget, but to also provide solutions.

School district taxpayers and citizens with questions or concerns are welcome to contact a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee, MicGlire and Moore said. The next budget meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday Feb. 1 in the high school library.

Highway chief praised for surplus

Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty announced Jan. 13 that the town Highway Department has spent less than budgeted for the second year in a row, and there is now $50,000 or so extra in their account.

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