Claremont School Board to see asked for budget cuts Wednesday nightBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
December 06. 2017 12:20AM
CLAREMONT — SAU 6 Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin plans to present the Claremont School Board with its requested budget cuts Wednesday night, but not before first asking the board to go into nonpublic session to discuss his proposed cuts.
“The board is looking for us to come in with a proposed budget that is $1.2 million below the current fiscal year, which is going to require a reduction of more than $2 million,” McGoodwin said Monday. Board members expressed their frustration with McGoodwin the last time they met on Nov. 15.
While McGoodwin told board members he wasn’t sure they realized the impact their request would have on children in the district, board members Chris Irish and Michelle Pierce told him the directive to make the cuts was not optional. McGoodwin said Monday that because the proposed cuts may affect current positions, he believes a nonpublic session to discuss those cuts would be appropriate.
“There are certain things we need to do before we discuss this publicly,” McGoodwin said.
Board Vice President Chris Irish said Monday he was frustrated by the fact that the board had yet to see the budget that was requested in September, adding he plans to oppose a motion to go into nonpublic Wednesday night. “I would be adamantly opposed to that,” Irish said. “This is a public process. This is a budget process. Transparency is absolutely key to the budget process. I would be opposed to going into a nonpublic. It has to be a transparent process.” Irish added the SAU administration is showing a lack of respect for the process the board wants to follow.
The board wanted to spend the past three months working and reworking the proposed 2019 plan.
“Not allowing an increase is not cutting,” Irish said.
According to McGoodwin, “The FY 19 budget presented to the school board on November 15th was actually finalized two hours before the meeting. As a result, this first draft did not include the directives from the September 30, 2017 school board budget study session. … Since November 16, 2017, the central office administrative team has worked to established a list of items that will represent a budget $1,275,000 less than the FY18 budget.”