More Criticism of Contrived Default Budgets

Here is another in the chorus of those unhappy with school district default budgets, but this is a singularly well-written article from the Union Leader.

An excerpt:  It is not difficult to see how the default budget can be shamelessly manipulated to deny voters an opportunity to put the brakes on the runaway train of spending. All that a school board has to do is to conveniently forget about making the subtraction of the one-time expenditures from the default budget. Since nobody is watching, presto, the two budget numbers on the ballot come out about the same, and the board creates a classic “heads the board wins, tails taxpayers lose” situation. Voters cannot say no. However we vote, the schools get not only the guaranteed raise in operating funds, to which they are entitled under the law, but also the one-time expenditures that are supposed to be decided by the rest of us.


Filed under Sandown Issues

5 responses to “More Criticism of Contrived Default Budgets

  1. A citizen/reporter from another community who understands accountibility and is allowed to shine the light and not be ridiculed? How refreshing.

  2. It’s the superintendent’s job to secure as much funding for his enterprise as possible. It’s the school board’s job to look after the interests of the community. As long as the school board is nothing more than a compensated PTA, there is no oversight.

  3. Mark Acciard

    Happy New Year Len, While I agree with you about the lack of oversight, I differ a bit on the jobs.

    The SB; is the governing body of the District. They are the prudential managers in charge of everything. They spend the money, set the policy, and are ultimately responsible for all operations and achievements of the district.

    SUPER: He is an EMPLOYEE of the SB. He is responsible for the day to day management and operation of the district but is answerable in all things to the SB, it is THEIR DUTY to supervise their employee. In budgetary matters the Super;s job is to produce an ACCURATE assessment of the districts needs, and funding needs. NOT to get as much as possible.

    BUDCOM: There is a reson the SB has NO AUTHORITY over this board. and that is they get to spend the budget THIS BOARD IS CHARGED WITH CREATING! Now, the fact that at TImberlane this board does not do their job, abdicating it to the superintendent is where the corruption begins. The budcom is supposed to be the peoples check and balance against the SB.

    • Happy New Year, Mark. I am hopeful that people currently serving as selectmen decide to run for the school board. These people, for the most part, have respect for the law, abide by the rules of setting a default budget, and spend the people’s money responsibly.

      • This is certainly true for Sandown and Danville. Everyone should keep in mind, though, that public office is a tremendous amount of work and it is asking much of one person to do both BOS and SB. It is rare that one individual has the personal time and energy to do both. More people overall need to get involved in these offices but the very first qualification is an independent mind. It is all too common for people to get elected, feel overwhelmed – or lazy- and then vote with the crowd.

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