Present: Albert St.Pierre; Lucien Beam; Steven Dalessio; Frank Emig; Alan Dustin; Sarah Vogel; William Stahl; Scott Bushway; Joseph Levesque; Mary Henry
Chairman Mr. St.Pierre called the meeting to order at 6:03 PM.
Mr. St.Pierre welcomed everyone, and noted that the State Board of Education presentation at Woodsville High School on November 21, 2019 was a productive meeting. He noted that the BoE asked some questions of the committee to clarify the plan. Mr. St.Pierre advised that the BOE will accept the answers up until the night before the meeting for their review and discussion at the December 12, 2019 meeting. Mr. St.Pierre presented a letter to Mr. Bushway, Charlestown School Board rep, to request a letter of intent stating that the FMRSB will accept Charlestown students at FMRHS on a tuition basis. This letter is being mailed to the board as well, with the request that it be on the agenda at the Monday, 12/9 meeting.
Mr. Beam asked about the minority report. Does the minority board have the opportunity to review the work to be done? Mrs. Henry states yes, and the minority can re present a case to the state. Mr. Beam wonders if there been a consideration of the minority report. Mr. St.Pierre said the board has asked for answers, and this committee will answer them. If the minority wants to send another report based on these answers, that is their right.
What is the SAU Budget?
Mr. St.Pierre asked if the committee has a SAU budget specifically? Mr. Levesque noted the Charlestown only budget that was given to the budget subcommittee, and that Mr. Fenn recommended three positions will be needed. Those estimates are included in an SAU budget. Mr. Beam noted that the SAU budget included the contractual agreement for support staff and teachers, and a 2% increase. The FY20 Budget without Charlestown totals $23,269,209.00. The total is reduced for FY21 to $20 million Mr. St.Pierre noted that the budget presented is the whole district budget, not just the SAU. The State BoE is asking for the separate SAU budget. Mr. St.Pierre notes that this would include the Superintendent and Business Manager and the costs for the SAU building. Mr. Beam notes that there is not a budget specific to the SAU. There is discussion regarding whether Method 1 is the SAU budget? Mrs. Henry advised that Method 1 cannot be taken alone as the SAU budget. Mrs. Vogel brought forth a list from the minority report that are reported costs by the business manager as SAU costs. Discussion regarding that the CFO Jim Fenn is not able to separate the SAU from the FMRSD.
Mr. St.Pierre introduced Atty Jim O’Shaughnessy, the council for the town of Charlestown.
Mr. St.Pierre called for a show of hands whether they would like to hear from Atty. O’Shaughnessy at the table. The majority would prefer that Atty O’Shaughnessy stay at his own table.
Mr. O’Shaughnessy, representing Charlestown, is here not to say what should or should not be done. The BOE meeting on November 21, 2019 was a good conversation. Mr. Cline,Chair of the BoE wants a business plan. The Board wants more information in the plan that is given to the voters. Mr. Dalessio asked if the BOE is looking for the SAU60 budget as a whole or just a Charlestown SAU budget? The SAU60 budget, according to Atty O’Shaughnessy.
Mr. St.Pierre offered supplemental information for the questions. Committee decided not to use the supplements.
Motion to allow Charlestown attorney Jim O’Shaughnessy at the table to help resolve the questions made by Mr. Dalessio. Second by Mr. Dustin. Committee vote is 7 to 2 in favor. Mrs. Vogel abstained from the vote. Motion passes.
Mr. O’Shaughnessy notes that the minority report does lay out the potential impacts well. What are the needs and how they will be met. Biggest concern of BoE chairman Drew Cline is how the current tax base will fund everything that Charlestown needs to.
Add verbiage explaining how Charlestown may cover expenses if high cost things happen in the first few years. Charlestown will establish a capital reserve fund and reserve X number of dollars for this reason. Acknowledge in the plan the risk of extraordinary expense. Mrs. Henry clarified that if a budget is overextended, the DRA requires a plan for paying it.
Atty O’Shaughnessy and the committee worked through every part of the plan, adding language and tables — specifically addressing the questions asked by the BoE.
Motion to accept the Finance Subcommittee numbers of $14 – 15,500,000. By Mrs. Henry. Second by Mr. Stahl. All in favor.
Motion to accept changes to the plan made by Mr. Emig. Second by Mr. Stahl. All in favor.
Motion to adjourn made by Mr. Beam. Second by Mr. Dalessio. All in favor.
Meeting is adjourned at 11:28 pm.