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Author Topic: Deliberative Session Draft Minutes  (Read 1182 times)
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GDouglas
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« on: March 04, 2011, 01:54:14 PM »

For those of you that would like a quick read of what happened at this years Deliberative Session. I requested a copy of the Draft minutes of the Deliberative Session. Please note these have not been approved by the School Board yet.

Londonderry School District Deliberative SessionFebruary 11, 2011

Mr. Michels announced the meeting would begin with the presentation of the flag by the Londonderry High School Color Guard followed by the playing of the national anthem by a high school ensemble. The opening of the meeting was delayed by the plethora of people that needed to be checked in. The meeting began at 7:25PM. Mr. Herrmann led the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Michels thanked the color guard and ensemble. Mr. Michels introduced the head table. The School Board members, School District Superintendent, Mr. Campo recognized the service George Herrmann has given to the school district for the past 6 years. He thanked him on behalf of the board. Mr. Herrmann received a standing ovation. Mr. Michels went through the rules including the history on the quorum and the charter. He said the current ruling holds and there needs to be a quorum of 500 for anyone in the audience to make any amendments. When a quorum is shown to exist the moderator will assume that there is a quorum for the remainder of the meeting unless there is a quorum vote requested. The votes taken tonight are not the final votes on the articles. The final vote will be taken on March 8th at the general election. Amendments may be made by the audience if a quorum is present while the article is being discussed. All amendments should be in writing and given to the moderator in advance of the article. All comments must be about the article that is being discussed, there will be no running debates, a motion to move the question will be allowed only when all the sides have been discussed. Mr. Michels spoke about the procedure for voting which may be by ballot or hand with the cards. Ann Gaffney, 28 Tokanel Dr. asked about the voting procedure and Mr. Michels said that there has to be a quorum for each vote. Mr. Michels said discussion would begin even though there were still people coming in. He read article 2.

Article 2 (General Fund - Operating Budget)
Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to raise and appropriate as an operating
budget for the fiscal year 2011-2012, not including appropriations by special warrant articles, or
separate warrant articles, one of the following amounts for the purposes set forth in the budget
posted with the warrant?

Vote for only one:
A. $63,222,575 (School Board budget as amended)
(Estimated Tax Impact $12.44)
Recommended by the School Board 5-0-0
Recommended by the Budget Committee 6-0-0

OR

B. $65,974,054 (Default Budget)
(Estimated Tax Impact $13.26)
NOTE: Warrant Article 2 (Operating Budget) does not include appropriations proposed under any other article in this warrant.

Mr. Young made the motion to move the article to the ballot. Mr. Campo seconded the motion. Mr. Greenberg presented the article. Using a PowerPoint presentation, Mr. Greenberg outlined the budget. He said staffing adjustments reflect enrollment and economic conditions. 87 positions have been removed from the budget and an Ed Job grant is covering some salaries for this year. The positions that are being covered by the grant will be eliminated next year. There have been over 10 million dollars in cost avoidance this year. He said the total tax impact was reduced from an original amount of 46 cents to 22 cents inclusive of the articles and warrants proposed to be on the budget. Mr. Greenberg went into the specifics of the reductions. Salaries represent 81% of the budget. Supply funds are being stretched, wellness initiatives have held insurance costs down and the top administrators are not taking a raise for the upcoming year. Mr. Greenberg noted the specific cost avoidance initiatives which include the wellness, the in-house special education program and the energy savings. Mr. Greenberg went through the successes of the district including the articulation agreements, the graduation rate, the number of student who have gone to 4, 2 year and trade schools. He spoke of the recent visit by the accreditation group who complimented the school district and the national organization that showed Londonderry’s excellent return on the school dollar. Mr. Greenberg went through the reductions in revenue. He said there are rumors that there will be additional revenue, however, decisions must be made based on what is currently expected and adjust accordingly should the amounts change. He spoke of retirement contribution reduction which the district is also anticipating. He also spoke of catastrophic aid and construction reimbursements. Mr. Greenberg complimented the representatives who have been looking out for our needs at the state house. Mr. Joncas said the budget committee voted in favor of the school district budget. They believe the school district has been prudent in their deliberation.
Glenn Douglas, 6 Overlook Ave asked for a clarification on the $900,000 cut. Mr. Michels said that 500 people would be needed to make any changes. Mr. Campo said the board asked for a proposal of a cut of $200,000 and then a further $200,000. There were two scenarios presented and the board decided to go with the first level which removed $200,000. In order for a zero tax impact there would need to be an additional approximately $900,000 further cut. Mr. Clark said that 480 registered voters that currently checked in. David Ellis, 1 Wilshire Dr. asked about the school to career drop, the increase in cost of the psychological councilors and athletic budget. Mr. Greenberg said the district has changed and shifted some of the responsibilities between the qualified assistant principals that are in the school currently. He explained that the district is going to a contract the psychologist service and shifted responsibilities in that area as well. The increase in athletics is due to salary increases and the increase in the cost of referees. Madeline Heath Demeule, 29 Boyd Road spoke about the type of government we currently have. She believes we have not seen the cost that we will be paying based on the cuts and shifts in responsibility. She believes delivering the curriculum is one thing and accessing it is another. Losing the supports at the school will be detrimental to students. Special education costs have gone up but we have an obligation to these children. She would like to see what the long term effects will be with these cuts. She believes that small number of students in classrooms is how we will be most successful. She did not see waste in the school district in the years she volunteered in the district as her children went through the district. She believes that we have an obligation to pay attention. Amy Marrello, 5 Lorraine Dr. asked if we don’t reach 500 people will the group just be observers? Mr. Michels answered with a procedure reiteration. Mr. Young pointed out that the there will be two budgets on the ballot. Nancy Hendricks, 14 King John Dr. asked about the process that the district goes through. Mr. Greenberg said they begin to look at the budget in August and work through the fall and winter meetings analyzing each budget. He explained the cuts and why the decisions were made in the particular areas. Mrs. Hendricks wanted to be sure that the cuts will not allow students to fall through the cracks and not get the education they deserve. Robert Spiegelman, 18 Winsor Blvd. thanked everyone for their work in going through the budget. Don Moskowitz, 7 Tokanel Dr. wondered if the school district is looking at the feasibility of bringing students in from other districts. Mr. Greenberg said we currently do this at this time. He said the district has to look at the break point – the point where the cost outweighs the benefit. He also wondered about general fund raising efforts as we currently see being done in the community. Mr. Moskowitz was encouraged to run for the school board. He’s considered it but commented that it would take away from his letter writing time. David O’Rourke, 8 Jason Drive asked what the board would do if the default budget was voted in. Mr. Young said he has always wondered what would happen. He imagined that there would be some items put back into the budget but that there would also be a fund balance that would be returned to the taxpayers at the end of the year. Debbie Villars, 20 High Range Rd. wondered what the default budget. Mr. Campo explained what the default budget is and why it is on the ballot each year. Mr. Greenberg has indicated that should it be voted in there were things he would bring back but there would probably be funds left at the end of the school year. Ola Lessard, 12 Ashley Dr. is concerned about the reputation of our schools and she doesn’t want to see the cuts in assistants. She is a volunteer at Matthew Thornton and the people who are being cut are needed. She asked specifically about special aid reductions. Mr. Greenberg reiterated that the only special education assistant reductions have been at the high school and are based on enrollment reductions. He believes the reductions will not affect programs. Pauline Caron 369 Mammoth Rd. wondered how many out of district students we have. There are 4 out of district students who are tuitioned into the district and the revenue for them shows up under “local revenue”. Mrs. Caron said the only place to cut is employees because as she sees it, if funds are going to salaries they are not going to the children. Mr. Robinson said he disagrees with the statement that the students are not getting the funds because 81% of the budget goes to the teachers and they are what we give our students. Mrs. Caron said that the funds also go to administrators and not the students. Mr. Campo said the RSAs state the district must have a certain number of administrators in place. Mr. Greenberg said we are reducing the administrative staff by 10%. Looking at the HS, the administrators are responsible for 24 people (evaluating and supervising staff) as well as students. Deborah Nowicki, 89 Fieldstone Dr. said she substitutes in both Londonderry and Derry. The class size in Derry with the higher tax is much smaller. The average size can go anywhere from 22 to 27 at the Middle School in Londonderry right now. She believes every child has the right to move forward. She doesn’t believe staff should be cut. She believes that the teachers in Londonderry continue to come in even though they are worried about their jobs. She wonders about the federal government cuts and if Mr. Greenberg believes the cuts will be further. Mr. Greenberg said the concern is more from the state reductions. There are 10 staff members whose salaries are being paid for by ED Job grants and that money will not be here next year. The district cannot carry over funds even if there are additional revenues. The only way to carry over the funds is through a special trust fund. IDEA has not been funded as it was said it would be. Tony DiSessa, Winterwood Dr. wondered what has been paid in legal fees. Mr. Greenberg said the $17,000 has been paid, $9.000 as a result of court appearances and getting prepared, the rest as a result of all the work since August when the question was first raised. Brian Farmer, 106 Chase Rd. said he is not going to make any cuts. If the default is voted in that is a repudiation of the current cuts being offered in the district’s budget. Mr. Young pointed out that there doesn’t have to be any conjecture, anyone who wants to amend the budget could come forward. He also asked if Mr. Farmer had sued the school district. Mr. Michels ruled the question out of order. Mr. Spiegelman asked to make a motion to amend the budget adding funds to pay for the school to career position. He would like to raise it by the amount to reinstate the school to career budget. Mr. Michels said this is a bottom line budget change. Mr. Spiegelman said he would like to raise the budget $107,912.00 (which Mr. Greenberg said would be needed to reinstate the positions) with the hope that the district would reinstate the two positions. Ms. Gaffney seconded the motion. Mr. Robinson wondered about the specifics. Mr. Spiegelman said he was speaking specifically about the high school. Mr. Robinson asked if that was the full time and ½ time person. Those were the positions. Mr. Brown asked for a quorum count. Mr. Michels said this would happen quickly. He gave instructions for people to put ballot A in the boxes that were located in various sections of the room, stressing that should anyone vote any ballot other than their own it would be a federal offense. When the ballot was closed Mr. Michels said we’d move to the next article, suspending this one until after the count. After the next three articles were addressed Mr. Michels announced that there were only 464 voters and a quorum was not met. This made the motion a moot point. Mr. Farmer got up to speak and said he is one of the people who sued the school district. Mr. Michels said he was out of order. Mr. Farmer agreed he was out of order but continued to speak until Mr. Michels asked the officer to remove him from the room. The officer removed him.

Article 2 was moved to the ballot

Article 3 (Londonderry Support Staff [AFSCME Local 1801] Bargaining Agreement)
Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Londonderry School District and the Londonderry Support Staff (AFSCME Council 93/Local 1801), and further to raise and appropriate the sum of $15,595 for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, such sum representing the additional cost items attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits over those paid, at
current staffing levels, in the prior fiscal year? The agreement calls for the following increases
in salaries and benefits:

Fiscal Year Estimated Cost
FY 2012-2013 $117,138
FY 2013-2014 $120,067
(Estimated Tax Impact $0.01)
Recommended by the School Board 4-0-1
Recommended by the Budget Committee 3-0-2

NOTE: Pursuant to RSA 273-A:12, if approved, the terms of this collective bargaining
agreement, including the pay plan, but excluding cost of living increases, will continue in force
and effect until a new agreement is executed. The Londonderry Support Staff consists of the
following job classifications: Monitors, Clerical Assistants, Office Assistants, Instructional
Assistants, Special Education Assistants, Library/Media and Computer Assistants, Bookkeepers, 504 Assistants and Administrative Assistants.

Mr. Young made the motion to move the article to the ballot. Mr. Robinson seconded the motion. Mr. Young presented the article. He said there are 312 positions in this bargaining unit. He spoke of the 20 hours in negotiations. They will be eliminating the steps for the future; should this fail the increase would be the same as proposed due to the evergreen clause in the state statutes. He outlined the rest of the points.

Mr. Jorgensen said the budget committee voted 3-0-2. The article was moved to the ballot.

Article 4 (Authorization for Special Meeting on Cost Items)
Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District, if Article 3 (Londonderry Support Staff
[AFSCME Local 1801] Bargaining Agreement) is defeated; authorize the School Board to call
one special meeting, at its option, to address Article 3 cost items only?

(Estimated Tax Impact ($0.00)
Recommended by the School Board 4-0-1

Mr. Herrmann made the motion to move article 4 to the ballot. Mr. Robinson seconded the motion. Mr. Herrmann presented the article by explaining why a special meeting might be needed. Mr. Michels asked for discussion. Seeing none the article was moved to the ballot.

Article 5 (Londonderry Custodians [AFSCME Local 1801] Bargaining Agreement)
Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to approve the cost items included in
the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Londonderry School District and the
Londonderry Custodians (AFSCME Council 93/Local 1801), and further to raise and appropriate
the sum of $54,767 for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, such sum representing the additional cost
items attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits over those paid, at current staffing
levels, in the prior fiscal year? The agreement calls for the following increases in salaries and
benefits:

Fiscal Year Estimated Cost
FY 2012-2013 $56,137
FY 2013-2014 $57,539
(Estimated Tax Impact $0.02)
Recommended by the School Board 5-0-0
Recommended by the Budget Committee 5-0-0

Mr. Robinson made the motion to move the article to the ballot. Mr. Campo seconded the motion. Mr. Campo presented the article saying it is the same contract they had before. The custodial staff has made many concessions in the past. Mr. Oswald said the budget committee supported the article 5-0-0. Since there was no discussion the article was moved to the ballot.

Article 6 (Authorization for Special Meeting on Cost Items)
Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District, if Article 5 (Londonderry Custodians
[AFSCME Local 1801] Bargaining Agreement) is defeated; authorize the School Board to call
one special meeting, at its option, to address Article 5 cost items only?

(Estimated Tax Impact $0.00)
Recommended by the School Board 5-0-0
Recommended by the Budget Committee 0-0-0

Mr. Robinson made the motion to move the article to the ballot. Mr. Campo seconded the motion. Mr. Robinson presented the article explaining that the article is similar to the article previously discussed with regards to the assistant contracts.

Mr. Saur said the article will be placed on the budget.

Article 7 (School Lunch and Federal Projects)
Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to accept and receive federal grants and
other such funds to support the school lunch program and federal projects; further to raise and
appropriate such funds in a special revenue fund as follows: school lunch program, $1,358,000;
federal projects, $2,272,267; such funds to be self-supporting through local, state or federal
revenue sources?

(Estimated Tax Impact $0.00)
Recommended by the School Board 5-0-0
Recommended by the Budget Committee 5-0-0

Mr. Laferriere made the motion to move the article to the ballot. Mr. Campo seconded the motion. Mr. Laferriere presented the article explaining this allows the district to accept grant funds from the federal projects and would have a local impact if it is not voted for in the affirmative.

Mr. Jorgensen said the budget committee voted in favor 5-0. The article was moved to the ballot.

Article 8 Special Article (School Buildings Maintenance Fund)
Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to raise and appropriate the sum of
$275,000 to be placed in the School District’s Expendable General Fund Trust Fund? The
District’s Expendable General Fund Trust Fund was previously established and approved at the
March 1995 School District Meeting.

(Estimated Tax Impact $0.08)
Recommended by the School Board 5-0-0
Recommended by the Budget Committee 5-0-0

NOTE: The intended use for these funds is for major one-time capital costs for district facilities including roofs, paving, boilers and small renovation projects.
Recommended by the Budget Committee 0-0-0

Mr. Robinson made the motion to move the article to the ballot

Mr. Young seconded the motion

Mr. Robinson presented the article explaining this allows the district to save for one time capital costs.

Jan McLaughlin is concerned about the small amount in this article. She would have rather seen sprinklers than a track. Mr. Robinson said the sprinklers are going in next year. This wouldn’t cover that.

Mr. Jorgensen said the budget committee approved the article 5-0.

Article 8 shall be placed on the budget

Article 9 Special Article (Use of Year-End Unreserved Fund Balance)
Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to raise and appropriate up to the sum
of $50,000 to transfer into the District’s School Buildings Maintenance Fund, established and
approved at the March 1995 School District Meeting? The appropriation will be offset with
revenue from unreserved fund balance, June 30, 2011. Such funds would be used to cover the
costs of general maintenance of the District’s buildings and grounds.

(Estimated Tax Impact $0.01)
Recommended by the School Board 5-0-0
Recommended by the Budget Committee 2-3-0

Mr. Robinson made the motion to move the article to the ballot

Mr. Campo seconded the motion

Mr. Campo presented the article pointing out there is a need for this. The plan is that this would allow the district to save for future needs if there are left over funds.

Ann Gaffney asked if there is not fund balance what happens to the account.

Mr. Campo said this will only be funded if there is a surplus.

Mr. Clark said there were 508 registered voters who came to the meeting and he appreciated them coming. Come again next year!

Mr. Young thanked the honor society and the students who helped with babysitting.

Mr. Young made the motion to adjourn. Mr. Campo seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0-0. Meeting adjourned at 9:50PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Wing Soares
School Board Secretary
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Glenn Douglas
GDouglas
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Posts: 6858



« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 02:01:36 PM »

It's almost Friday night. Good time for pop-corn and a movie. If you like to watch the Deliberative Session

LondonderryNH has it on YouTube here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGqTjON8ghk
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Glenn Douglas
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