Hermon council, school committee formalizes school budget review, approval process

Posted Feb. 13, 2014, at 7:56 p.m.

HERMON, Maine — During a brief joint meeting Wednesday night, members of the Town Council and School Committee voted unanimously to formalize their town’s school budget review and approval process.

The process was laid out in a resolve drafted by Superintendent Patricia Duran. It is the same process that has been used in Hermon for at least five years, she said, adding that the only change is that the process now has been put into writing.

According to the resolve, the School Committee directs the superintendent to give the town manager timely notice whenever the school budget will be an agenda item, whether at regular committee meetings or at special meetings or workshops. Town councilors then have an opportunity to comment, review and make recommendations regarding the budget.

Once the School Committee has completed the initial budget development process, the proposed budget total goes to the town manager for review and the Town Council for comment during a joint meeting with school officials, the document states.

Should the council suggest modifications to the school budget, those modifications with comments will be sent to the superintendent for review by the School Committee.

The final version of the budget is then forwarded to the town manager no less than five business days before the budget is presented to voters. A warrant addressing the school budget’s 11 cost centers then is to be presented to voters by School Committee and Town Council members during a special town meeting.

The final step of the process is to put the school budget up for approval in the form of a referendum question presented to voters during the annual elections in June.

Sen. Geoff Gratwick, D-Bangor, had submitted legislation on the town’s behalf that would require that the school budget be reviewed by the town council before being put up for voter approval.

That bill, however, was withdrawn to allow municipal and school officials to work out an arrangement on their own.

Councilor William Scott asked Town Manager Roger Raymond to post the school budget process on the town’s website so that residents can read it.

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