SAU #41 Budget Hearing

H/B Middle School

December 7, 2006


Mike Dreyer, Chair

William Beauregard, HSB

Betty Hall, H/B Coop(left early 9:25 p.m.)

Beth Lukovits, BSB

Jennifer MacLeod, HSB

Wanda Meagher, BSB

Jim Murphy, H/B Coop

James O’Shea, HSB (late arrival 7:20 pm)

Dave Partridge, BSB

Dan Peterson, H/B Coop

Venu Rao, HSB

Web Scales, H/B Coop

Steve Simons, H/B Coop

Tom Solon, BSB


Rich Pike, Superintendent of Schools

Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education

Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum

Mellinee Capasso, Business Administrator

Mary Kay MacFarlane, Recording Secretary



Mike Dreyer called the budget hearing to order at 7:18 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.


Rich Pike presented the FY 2008 SAU Budget.  There is a 4.85% increase in the budget.  It is the lowest increase in many years.  He thanked his staff and the chair for their work on this budget.


Mellinee Capasso gave the details of the budget.  The items of significant increase are Finance Software Support $10,539, Merit raises $33,742 and Employee Benefits $ 16,681.  This totals an overall increase of $ 53,633 or 4.85% increase over last year for a total budget of $1,159,003.  There is a surplus of $35,956 which should be recognized as revenue to the district.  Mellinee suggests using $25,000 to fully bring the Director of Curriculum’s salary into the SAU budget.  This leaves a balance of $10,956 in the surplus.


A motion was made to accept the SAU budget at $1,159,003 by Jim Murphy.  The motion was seconded by Beth Lukovits. 


Jim Murphy thanked the Board for making their target increase.


Tom Solon asked about professional development costs.  The SAU made cuts in all areas and decided to only have one person per year for national conferences.  Cuts were also made is merit raises; and telephone costs.  Dental and Health Insurance costs were down due to people taking less expensive plans.


Betty Hall asked about Rich Raymond’s recommendations for technology.  One item, the new file server, is in this budget.  The remaining items are in the individual District budgets.


Mike Dreyer thanked the Hollis School District for not charging the SAU rent this year.  The SAU will be responsible for repairs and maintenance the building.


Mike Dreyer asked Chris Hyde and Mike Harris if they had any comments.


Chris Hyde said that the cost of internet services has been too high for several years and it has yet to be addressed.  Mike Dreyer said that they are forming a committee to address these issues.  Chris Hyde would like to see another percentage point taken out the budget.


Dave Partridge asked him if he had any recommendations for reducing it the $11,000 that he would like to see.  Chris Hyde said he didn’t


Mellinee Capasso informed the Board that there was a $32,000 surplus in the SAU Budget that can be carried over.  The auditors recommended only carrying over part of the surplus.  Mellinee stated that $25,000 of the surplus could be used to offset part of the Director of Curriculum’s salary.


The Board discussed the funding and history behind the Director of Curriculum’s position and fully funding it in the SAU Budget.


Mike Harris stated that it would be better to give the surplus back to the taxpayer than to use it to fund the Director of Curriculum’s salary.


Dan Peterson suggested that the SAU either choose ITIP or internet service.  He wouldn’t support ITIP until the internet charges are decreased.


Dave Partridge asked if ITIP was a new service or to maintain a current service.  Mellinee Capasso said it was a new service.


Venu Rao said that he will stick to the budget committee recommendations of 3.7%.


James O’Shea asked if the other districts have short term disability.  The Brookline School District has a sick bank, the H/B Coop School District has a sick bank and the Hollis School District has short term disability.  He doesn’t think this is an unreasonable request and would support this in the budget.


Dave Partridge asked if ITIP can be introduced when the internet costs are reduced.


Mike Dreyer took a sense of the meeting to see if ITIP should be included in the budget.  Mike stated that if the SAU can find the money in the existing budget, would the Board support giving the SAU employees ITIP.  The Board was unanimous on this sentiment 14 yes, 0 no.


Jim Murphy changed his mind to a “no” vote on ITIP as it will be a reoccurring expense and it will increase.


Bill Beauregard makes a motion to amend the SAU budget to be $1,148,479 which represents a 3.9% increase overall.  Jennifer MacLeod seconds the motion.


Discussion ensued.


The amended motion was called to a vote.  The motion was defeated 7 yes, 7 no.


Dan Peterson makes a motion to amend the SAU Budget to $1,152,348 which represents an increase of 4.25% Jim Murphy seconded the motion. 


Discussion ensued.


The amended motion was called to a vote.  The motion was defeated by a vote of 7 yes, 7 no.


The original motion of a SAU Budget of $1,159,003, a 4.85% increase is called to a vote.  The motion carried by a vote of 8 yes, 6 no. 


A motion was made to accept ITIP as a line item not to exceed $5,400 by Steve Simons.  The motion was seconded by Beth Lukovits.  The motion carried by a vote of 12 yes, 1 no.


A motion was made to adjourn the SAU Budget Hearing by Steve Simons.  The motion was seconded by James O’Shea.  The motion carried by a vote of 13 yes, 0 no.


9:30 p.m.



SAU Board Chair  _________________________________________       Date:  ______


Brookline Board Chair  _____________________________________      Date:  ______


Hollis Board Chair  ________________________________________       Date:  ______


H/B Coop Board Chair  _____________________________________      Date:  ______