Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Winchester warrant heads to March vote unchanged

Sentinel Staff

WINCHESTER — Voters gave their stamp of approval to the school district’s proposed budget Tuesday, less than 10 minutes after the meeting was called to order.
About 40 residents, or about 1.5 percent of registered voters, showed up for the school district’s deliberative session to discuss the warrant prior to March’s vote.
The proposed budget is $11,086,540, up 2.3 percent from this year’s $10,835,480 budget. Should voters turn down the budget at the polls, a default budget of $11,030,349 will take effect.
The $251,060 budget increase is due in part to decreased revenue from the state and increased costs for items such as retirement payments. But the budget also includes a couple of new positions in special education and an additional kindergarten teacher at Winchester School, according to board Chairman Trevor S. Croteau.
After no questions or comments on the budget, voters unanimously agreed in a standing vote to move on to the rest of the warrant.
And discussion on the other articles followed the same trajectory — quick and agreeable.
Gustave A. Ruth, a selectman, did question an article that would give the school board the power to call a special district meeting if a collective bargaining agreement fails at the polls in March. Ruth said it costs several thousand dollars to host a meeting, and spending the money might not be worth it if residents had already turned down the contract.
The collective bargaining agreement is a one-year contract for the Winchester Support Staff Association that will cost an additional $22,887 for the 2013-14 school year.
A similar article regarding a one-year contract with the support staff association failed last March.
School board Vice Chairman Kevan D. Whippie said it was his understanding that the school board would judge the need for a special meeting based on whether the contract failed by a wide margin — in which case it would be clear voters won’t support it — or a narrow margin.
The warrant also includes an article asking to add $100,000 from any surplus money to the special education expendable trust fund and another to raise $25,000 for the building improvements reserve fund.
Business Administrator Lori Schmidt said the special education expendable trust fund has no money in it this year, which means there’s no buffer if the district runs into any unforeseen special education costs.
As for capital improvements, Croteau said the school board wants to change the water faucets in school bathrooms, finish upgrading the sprinkler system and install a key fob system for some of the school’s entrances that limits access to certain people.
Voters will weigh in at the polls at Winchester Town Hall March 12.


1.5 % Wow!!!! said...

So much for the lustrous duel we elected to the school board last year. Ground Hog Day all over again.

Anonymous said...

I'm lost with your comment
What does 1.5 % of voter showing up have to do with school board members we elected?
the 1.5% is sickening, in my book that means only 1.5% of the taxpayer may be justified in crying when they get their tax bills

Anonymous said...

People the dynamic duo you elected last year were not the "brains" behind the cuts. They were the ones with the biggest mouths! You all had better start to listen to Bob Davis and Brian Moser.

Same ole Same ole said...

A lot……. what happened to the lustrous duel that promised physical responsible, holding the line on expenditure, what about hope…… the fact we had faith in the lustrous duel with the fact they would keep their promises, what about the free hotdog? Was they given out so we could get use to eating them when we get our 2013 tax bills.

Yes, it is Ground Hog Day in Winchester!

Once these people and people like them get elected they go to the dark side. Ask Roberta Fraser.

Anonymous said...

What's the problem. The school board and budget commitee approved and agreed on the budget! I would say that is progress!

Anonymous said...

If our tax bill goes up, it won't be because of the school budget.....try the town budget.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that you are not commenting on the real story here!
40 residents!!!!! guarantee you they were all family of teachers and staff.
NOTHING will change till we get out from behind the computer and start making a presence at these meetings.
Lots of finger pointing and the whole blame game going on, but at the end of the day all the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the hundreds of people who don't bother to vote or go to deliberative sessions.

what are you DEAF, DUMB andBLIND? said...

Feb 13th at 8:14pm
What's the problem?

Yes, both those boards voted on budgets, with heavy increases, that's the problem. Every year it's more and more spending except for the Budget Committees we had last year and you saw what happened, all the rats at the School Dept. jumped ship, rather than work within the budget. The same goes for the Town; the Budget Committee didn't bow to the Selectmen like they have this year which resulted in a lawsuit and then hand picked candidates and a campaign to smear and dissolve the old Budget Committee. The end result was a decision by a judge, not the people to give the Selectmen exactly what they wanted .. total control of the town and tax payer dollars! Wake the hell up airhead, it's all about control in this town and who has it and it's not the citizens that's for sure.

Hopelessly bewildered said...

REF: What are you?

Well written, good for you. It good there are still people in town with common sense they all haven't left yet.

Was there said...

What are you....
You are so right about this years BC. But you are dead wrong about last years.
You need to dig a little deeper to figure out what happened and why it got in so much trouble.
A- The chairman bungled the school budget so badly it never made it to the ballot. Trying to present it without holding a public meeting was a big no-no and resulted in the BC's hard work being tossed out the door.
B- he allowed certain members to bring hostility and personal vendettas to the table, lost control of most the meetings etc.
1/2 way through the season there was talk amongst members of replacing the chairman because things were going down hill so bad.
There was some very smart people on that board but because of lack of leadership and following procedure all the work was in vain and we almost lost having a BC entirely.
This year we have a BC that rubber stamps everything, Last year we had one that self destructed, Maybe next year we will get one right in the middle, you can always hope.

Anonymous said...

REF: WAS there!

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and not always two people will agree to what they observed. There are to many people that watched the BC last years and will disagree with you on the out come.

If your who I think you are. How can you be so observant with your head-up Gardner’s a$$.

Listen Rainman ……So your trying to discredit last years BC in a attempt to convince us all the increases this year are OK.
Your smarter this year that last, is that what you want us to believe!

stop trying to deceive people said...

Reading over last years BC meeting minutes the problems were not caused by the chair of the board but by Kevan Whippie, school board rep, who stalled time and time again dodging scheduled meetings and the old school board itself that held a meeting on the night they were to go before the budget committee with their budget.Other issues were the end around play by the selectmen putting water and sewer on the ballot as warrant articles as they have done again this year. Put the blame where it belongs and leave your personal feelings at the door and get your facts straight. Those of us who can read know the real story.

Anonymous said...

Funny Kevan Whippie name was mention, funny how a man can get a federal small business loan then go bankrupt than sit two budget committee one committee over $11,000,000.00 and get elected again. How a pefrson can be disruptive argumentiver and just plan stupid. How does that add up?

On the Sean Hannity show Dr Benjamin Carson ( speaker at the white house prayer breakfast) stated what fits Winchester. People can be uneducated about elections, they will pick names they know off a ballot because they do not take the time to educate themselves before an election or they are to stupid to learn.. These people should not be allowed to vote.

Hold so true about Winchester. Kevan Whippie is a person that should never sit on any board let alone over $11,000,000.00.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when sample ballots will be available?
I am looking for all the info like who is running for what

Sample Ballots said...

No Idea, With all the 3 day work weeks, it could take a while.