A.B.C Committee Region One January 15 Reply

A.B.C Committee Region One January 15

 

Region 1 board considers public comment

BY RUTH EPSTEIN
REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

FALLS VILLAGE — The Region 1 All Board Chairmen Committee discussed public comment, and how to handle it, at its meeting last week. North Canaan representative Dolores Perotti brought up the subject, noting her board came up with a policy after incidents at meetings where there was a lot of talking back and forth between board members and the audience. She said some meetings got out of control.
Falls Village representative Dominick Caiati said the board should be inviting to the public. He said the board has to use its time efficiently and if concerns are raised they can’t really do anything about it during meetings. Cornwall’s Rebecca Hurlburt said there has to be a distinction between questions and comments.
“You don’t have to answer questions. There’s not supposed to be an exchange.”
Claude Rolo of Salisbury said those with concerns can always put those concerns in writing and the committee can take its direction from what it hears.
Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain said hearings — rather than regular board meetings — are held to allow for discussion.
Andrea L. Downs of Falls Village, chairman of the Region 1 board, said she thinks questions can be answered. “To me if taxpayers have questions they deserve answers.”
She said at those board meetings she has told audience members she would try to answer their questions at the next meeting so they don’t think they are being ignored. “We’ll see how it works.” She said as long as control is maintained and people are respectful she doesn’t see that practice as a bad thing. Sharon’s Electra Tortorella asked members to send examples of practices used to her.

From this mornings Republican-American….. Reply

BY LYNN MELLIS WORTHINGTON

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

KENT — The Kent Board of Education is girding for a tough budget year, knowing it faces a large increase next year for insurance costs and an increase in teacher salaries from a recently ne­gotiated contract.

The health care insurance is obtained through a region­al collaborative that involves all seven schools in Region 1 and the six towns. Region 1 Business Manager Samuel Herrick has indicated the schools may have to plan for at least a 20 percent in­crease, but the final numbers haven’t been calculated yet.

The education board’s budget subcommittee met Tuesday to begin developing the 2014-15 budget for Kent Center School.

Board members zeroed in on several areas and asked for additional information about cafeteria operations and costs, common core cur­riculum impacts, parapro­fessional salaries and bene­fits compared to the region’s other schools, and reducing supply costs by reducing pa­per usage.

“Unless it is an absolute necessity, I would not expect there to be an increase in anything,” said board Chair­man Paul Cortese.

No budget numbers had been filled into the draft document the committee worked with. A second workshop will be held Jan. 28 at 5:30 to firm up the numbers before a Feb. 6 meeting of the entire board.