2 years, 5 months ago by Bob Gough, QuincyJournal.com
$73.2 million budget passes by a 4-3 vote
The Quincy School Board passed its $73.2 million budget by a 4-3 vote.
The School Board held its public hearing on the budget at 8 a.m. where Business Manager Bud Martin presented the $73.2 million spending plan. Martin said the budget is balanced in the eyes of the state because it is based on the revenues and expenses for 2011-2012 and does not take into account a $2.2 million deficit leftover in the district's education fund.
The budget for the district's operating funds is $58.7 million. (Click here to see that) Other funds, including debt service, pensions and tort, bring the total to $73.2 milion. (Click here to see that)
On Wednesday morning, Board member Scott Stone made a motion to trim $650,000 from the budget from salaries and benefits to apply to the deficit.
Stone's plan would have reduced the proposed salary line item from $32.5 million to $31.9 million and the proposed benefits line item from $6.56 million to $6.49 million. Stone said those numbers reflect the amounts from the pre-audit 2010-2011 budget.
"We need to deal with this in a more responsible manner," Stone said. "Also, it is misleading to say it is a balanced budget when we have a $2.2 million deficit."
Martin said it was the state's choice of words, not his. Because the District did not have a balanced budget in the state's eyes in either of the last two years, Martin said the state will come in and dictate terms for a deficit reduction plan.
"I can tell you, you are going to deal with that deficit," Martin told the Board. "You are going to be told by the State Board of Education that you are going to sell working cash bonds and fill that deficit. I know we have no choice."
Board Member Jeff Mays said he would rather begin taking action now instead of waiting on the state.
Dr. Steve Krause was in surgery and could not attend the meeting. School District Attorney Dennis Gorman suggest the board adjourn and resume the discussion later on Wednesday, before the Board's Committee meeting of the whole that will deal with building and grounds and the members agreed.
Stone said he thought it would be fair for all members to be in attendance and have an opportunity to review his motion.
But when the board resumed its meeting Wednesday evening with all seven members present, the Board went into executive session. When the meeting resumed in open session, Stone withdrew his motion.
"Based on my personal beliefs, I think the mtion is still valid," Stone said. "But due to legal concerns, I withdraw my motion."
Stone, Mays and Melvin "Bud" Niekamp all voted against the budget while Krause, Bill Daniels, Stephanie Erwin and Tom Dickerson voted for it.
Budget Mays, Stone, Niekamp vote no. Budget 4-3.