23 Aug 2014
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Officials Look to Finalize Budget Process

The School Department has submitted a budget summary to the Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen

Officials Look to Finalize Budget Process

Easton Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Green said Friday that both the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee should have enough information to make a vote on whether or not to recommend the Fiscal Year 2013 operating budget.

Article 16 on the Town Meeting Warrant, which deals with a town operating budget in the amount of $68,388,097, has yet to be recommended by either committee because of a lack of detail for the budget's largest line item: $33,731,471 for the Easton School Department.

Both Boards met this past week (Selectmen on Monday and Finance Committee on Wednesday) and chose to forego an official recommendation until further detail was provided.

On Thursday, however, the School Committee released a budget summary to both the Finance Committee and the Board of Selectmen.

School Committee Chair Jane Martin said this has been an "unusual year" because the School Department has had to balance Collective Bargaining negotiations with it's unions and preparing an operating budget.

"By the middle of the week, it was clear that we had made enough progress in our negotiations that we could finalize some of the details that we had not been prepared to do," Martin said.

Finance Committee Chair Carol Nestler, who met with Martin on Thursday to discuss budget details, said the item would be discussed at next Wednesday's Finance Committee meeting. However, the detail given is not what has been provided in previous years.

"We will be discussing it at our meeting on Wednesday," Nestler said in an email message. "What we were given is a summary. Normally we would get a complete detailed budget, we have not yet received that."

Board of Selectmen Chair Colleen Corona said that the Selectmen have also received the budget summery and will discuss it during a meeting shortly before Town Meeting on May 21.

The School Department budget, which shows a 4.23 percent increase over FY12, and calls for the addition of two high school teachers and the reduction of three elementary school teachers because of lower enrollment at lower levels.

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