No tax increase in district's draft budget
The Jeannette School Board voted Monday night to approve a preliminary 2013-14 budget that calls for no tax hike.
Late last month, the board was working on a budget that called for a 1-mill tax increase. This week, the board rejected the idea of raising taxes and voted instead to hold the line on the budget.
The board's first vote Monday was for a 1-mill tax increase, but it failed 7-2. Moe Lewis and Dr. David Valerio voted in favor of the motion, with the understanding that the board would work until the June final approval to eliminate that tax increase.
Instead, the board decided unanimously to make a motion to pass a budget with no increase. What that means is the board must trim about $47,500 from the budget that was presented this week. Superintendent Matthew Hutcheson said the preliminary budget should be ready by the end of this week for residents to review.
At least one more budget discussion meeting will be scheduled, Hutcheson said, to refine the spending plan.
If the budget remains the same, the millage will stay at 82.72 mills. The final budget will be approved at the board's June 17 meeting at 8 p.m. in the administration building.
“I want to commend the board for the work that we've done,” said Hutcheson. “We'll go into next year with a zero mill (increase) and no funds (used) from reserves.”
Board member Randy Highlands addressed the principals and administrators at the meeting and said, “If we can change it to get some of the items you've requested, we will.”“We finally have an administration that works together as a team,” said board president Joseph Yorio.
Hutcheson said after the meeting the biggest concern for the board is hoping that the state won't reduce the amount of funding it plans to send to Jeannette. He said the increase in state funding over last year is planned to be $89,000 and if that figure decreases, working toward a balanced budget without a tax increase or the use of reserve funds will be more difficult.
An earlier budget meeting held last month made board members nervous as a computer glitch had created what seemed like a $1.3 million deficit despite a potential millage increase. Board member Mark Gogolsky said Monday night after that situation was rectified everyone involved in building the budget had to work hard together to lower the remaining deficit.
Board member Patricia Caralli said this draft budget is “good for the community and the school district. Hopefully we'll be able to get ourselves in position to move forward from here. Last year I felt we were close and this year we're even closer.
“Our whole position here is to keep people in Jeannette and to keep our teachers employed.”
Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 724-838-5154.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.