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Dundee school district begins work on budget

DUNDEE—School budgets are complex documents and during the January 14 meeting of the Dundee Central School District board of education, district business manager Melissa Lawson outlined the proposed budget for 2010-2011.
Prior to her comments, district resident Bob Ford said, “In my opinion the budget is out of control. It went from $8.5 million to $13.5 million. I feel administration is not using resources wisely and I think administration is capable but did not provide enough oversight.  This is a business. Teaching our children needs to be run like a business. We have to manage our finances a bit better.” After commenting he feels administration had lost its perspective, Ford concluded, “ I realize the board is not paid or works full time. I don’t mean micromanaging. There has to be oversight.”
After presenting a budget development calendar, Lawson began with a review of General Support, Transportation and Operations & Maintenance budgets. She told the board, “We don’t have a lot of information on certain things at this point.” One of the big items that is unknown is BOCES contract costs and medical insurance rates." Lawson  said she expects to know where medical insurance costs will fall by the end of January.
Lawson  said there are many rumors regarding state cuts. She said, “We really have no sense of what we are going to see. The governor is supposed to release his budget next week.” An additional complication is that the state budget is typically not passed on time.
Following Lawson’s presentation, Board president Joseph Capurso thanked Ford for his input earlier in the meeting, commenting, “The depth of information presented to the public has been stepped up. I want to reassure you this board is very diligent. It has never been a rubber stamp board. We go through the entire budget and there are a lot of tough decisions. Rest assured this board is doing its job, not just with the budget but in monitoring what is spent. We’re not micromanaging but offering the right amount of input.”
Ford responded, “I feel better.”

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