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School Board Discusses Budget Deadline

A school board member will discuss this idea with selectmen: changing their deadline in Westborough's charter.

School Board Discusses Budget Deadline

School committee members want selectmen to consider supporting changing their budget deadline in Westborough’s charter.

The current schedule requires school officials to begin budget preparation as the school year starts, and hold a budget public hearing during the holiday season, Chairman Ilyse Levine-Kanji says.

The board voted unanimously this past Wednesday night to have a member discuss the charter change idea with the board of selectmen.

The charter, found here, includes the following budget provision.

“No less than ten (10) days before the end of the calendar year, or not less than ninety (90) days prior to the date of the start of the Annual Town Meeting, whichever is later, the Town Manager shall submit to the Board of Selectmen and file with the Advisory Finance Committee and Capital Expenditures Planning Committee a proposed budget for the ensuing fiscal year with an accompanying budget message and supporting documents.”

The town manager’s budget includes the schools’ request, the charter says.

School officials had the same deadline “even when the town meeting was in May,” Vice Chairman Stephen Doret said.

Doret suggested changing the schools’ deadline to “middle of January, or perhaps the beginning of February.”

“If we change the language, we can get the relief we would like,” he said.

Levine-Kanji recently suggested seeking March 16 annual town meeting approval to move town meeting back to May.

“If we had town meeting back in May instead of in March, we would be starting this process two months later,” Levine-Kanji said last Wednesday night.

Doret said town meeting was held in May for three or four years. Attendance fell, he said.

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