Deerfield warrant articles sail through deliberative session
DEERFIELD - Taking less than an hour, the Deerfield School District's deliberative session was quick and painless Monday, with no changes made to any of the presented warrant articles, though attendance was limited.
"It wasn't much of an event, between the weather and the rest of it," said school board Chair Donald Gorman. The session was delayed from Saturday due to weather.
Several voters asked about a warrant that would allow the district to retain up to 2.5 percent of the district's budget surplus and place that money into an emergency fund. Such a fund can only be used to reduce the tax rate or for emergency expenditures, all of which have to be approved by the Department of Education.
"(Residents were asking) 'Why are you doing this, if we approve it?' " said Gorman. "The answer to that question was to level off tax spikes, which I don't think they understood too well. It wasn't until it was explained that on any given year, as we had a few years back with a special needs kid (who cost the district) $400,000, where there's no limit with special needs kids, it'd be nice to have the money set aside."
No amendments were made, with all proposed warrants being moved to the amendment as presented.
The school district's proposed operating budget is $11,986,253. The default budget is $11,916,597.
The ballot will also include two collective bargaining agreements. The first, between the Deerfield School Board and the Deerfield Education Association, calls for three raises over the next three years: an $113,718 increase for 2013-2014, an $117,183 increase for 2014-2015, and a $120,767 increase for 2015-2016.
The second, between the Deerfield School Board and the Deerfield Para-educators Association, calls for two raises over the next two years: a $38,634 increase for 2013-2014, and a $27,929 increase for 2014-2015.
The other money question would raise and appropriate $25,000 for the facilities repair and improvement expendable trust fund.
Deerfield will hold its town election March 12 at the Deerfield Town Hall at 10 Church Street. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.