Claremont school board members frustrated after superintendent presents budget without requested cutsUnion Leader Correspondent
November 16. 2017 8:30PM
CLAREMONT — School board members expressed frustration with Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin Wednesday night when he presented the same budget he did two weeks earlier without requested cuts.
At the Sept. 30 meeting board members voted unanimously that McGoodwin reduce the proposed $32.9 million proposal budget by $1.2 million.
Instead, McGoodwin brought a presentation on the technology budget for the schools and defended the original budget.
“I’m frustrated that we gave a directive that was deliberately ignored,” board member Chris Irish said.
Board member Michelle Pierce was also upset with McGoodwin.
“You didn’t give us an option. You chose for us,” Pierce said.
McGoodwin asked the board to vote on whether they really want that cut, however, Irish said that vote took place on Sept. 30.
“Legally, we can’t reconsider,” Irish said. “It was a legally binding motion with a directive. … I’m really offended you assume we didn’t know what we were doing.”
McGoodwin said, “I am sure you didn’t have a clue what you were doing. … I will do it, with all due respect and minimize the impact on children.”
He added that the majority of the budget is personnel and the board has directed that most school district personnel are off limits.
He said to base a budget off of a desired tax break is not the right approach, but said he would bring the cut to the Dec. 6 meeting.
Pierce said the board may see it his way after they see the cuts.
“You will see the way we gut that budget and then it will be in your lap and you will have to decide which way we will go,” McGoodwin said.
“That’s exactly what we wanted,” Irish said. “This is a line in the sand that you should not have drawn. … but what you just said it’s what we wanted.”
Some board members were concerned that there would not be enough time to make adjustments to the budget.
McGoodwin said there is time and the board can hold Saturday budget hearings if needed.