DY School Budget: "I feel we could have found some savings"

from Michelle Conover of Yarmouth

After attending the Yarmouth Selectmen meeting last night, I wanted to take the opportunity to share my thoughts.

As a Yarmouth School Committee member, I feel we could have found some savings in our budget and found a decent compromise for the Town of Yarmouth to consider, but we were never given that opportunity and I am frustrated by that.

I am fearful of the ramifications if the override fails. We will almost certainly lose students to Choice and Charter because of the uncertainty. I do not want to put the town side of the budget in the position of having to cut vital town services like fire and police. Especially when if given the opportunity we could have come to an amicable agreement with the selectmen.

After our budget vote, the budget did not come up to the committee for discussion again. I spoke with the Superintendent and discussed putting it on the agenda to no avail.  I asked for an agenda item to draft a letter to the towns about the regional agreement, but received no reply, I shared areas where I felt we could minimize spending without it impacting programming, ideas I thought committee members would support based on conversations I had, but it appears that the committee was shut out of that process.

For example, just last week we were notified of almost $200,000 in savings in the District’s health insurance costs-savings that could be passed on.

I was one of the two Yarmouth members to vote no on the budget. This wasn’t only because I knew the bottom number would not fly, it was because I am not in agreement with how some of our resources are allocated. I believe we can do more with what we have and we must work together with the selectmen to find solutions.

I really feel with a better approach to our budgeting and a true spirit of cooperation we would not be where we are today. Had we given the selectmen a little, I feel we would have gotten a lot in return.

Michelle Conover

Yarmouth Resident

Member of the DY School Committee

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