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Franklin exploring contentious school budget savings

Union Leader Correspondent

January 22. 2013 10:09PM

FRANKLIN - The school board chairman is asking residents to come out in numbers to support the school system at a city-school meeting Monday night, saying city officials are trying to take over parts of the school district's budgeting process.

"The city council has decided that they want to take over our accounts receivables and payables, which is not their responsibility and (would be) against New Hampshire RSAs and legislative rules," said School Board Chairman Ray Yonaitis.

City officials have decided to study the idea of combining accounts payables and payroll services and have drafted an ordinance that could be presented to voters for approval, City Manager Elizabeth Dragon said.

"The council has tasked us with finding out if there is a potential savings by combining services," Dragon said.

The city council has scheduled a joint finance meeting between the city and school board for Monday night at 6.

"It is just an idea at this point; the meeting is to get pros and cons from people, and to get input on the idea," Dragon said.

Yonaitis said the school district's finance committee members will not be able to attend the meeting.

He issued a plea to city residents.

"To those of you wanting the best for the education possible for the children in Franklin ... the city has scheduled a joint finance meeting between the city and school board. The problem is the city called the meeting without any collaboration with the school board finance committee.

"The agenda for this meeting (as set by the Franklin City Council) is for discussion to have the Franklin City Council to take over the school district finances . So I am asking the citizens of Franklin to please attend this meeting to speak against this action, and please call your city council members to speak out against this action," Yonaitis said.

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