EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

February 7, 2014

Voters reject attempt to slash Timberlane budget

Amendment would have cut $2.4 million.

PLAISTOW — A standing-room-only crowd rejected an attempt to slash the Timberlane Regional School District budget by almost $2.5 million last night at the district’s deliberative session.

Much of the debate was centered around the amendment proposed by Sandown resident Arthur Green. Green’s wife, Donna made a lengthy presentation about the benefits of cutting the budget.

“I’m suggesting a flat-line budget because I feel the district is on an unsustainable course,” said Green, who is also a member of the Budget Committee. “Sixty-four million dollars is what the budget is actually running on right now.”

A $66.4 million budget was unanimously recommended by the School Board. Green was the only member of the Budget Committee to vote against the recommended budget.

Green cited declining enrollment and a large surplus as the primary reasons for cutting the budget.

“There would be no classroom impact to these cuts,” she said. “To say nothing should be cut in an operation of this size with as many employees we have is absurd and very self-serving of the administration, in my opinion.”

The amendment failed, 372-239.

Before the amendment failed, many voters took to the microphone to speak against the cuts.

“A vote to cut the proposed budget will do nothing to help our 3,924 children,” said Brian Stack of Plaistow. “Such a vote will do nothing to help our teachers, our school administrators and our elected school officials, who are working hard to make our district one of academic excellence.”

Stack is the principal of Sanborn Regional High School.

“(Green’s) remarks missed the point,” he said. “She addressed concerns that are not appropriate for this forum and for this audience. She is frustrated with the ever-decreasing federal and state aid that our schools receive to meet the burdens placed upon them. Her frustrations have some validity, but now is not the time or place to bring them out.”

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