Surprise, confusion and $1m cut at Allenstown school session
Larry Anderson, a member of the Allenstown Budget Committee, proposed an amendment that would change the proposed school district operating budget from $9,756,468 to $8,780,000.
So, it was a surprise to everyone, including other members of the budget committee, when Anderson called for the amendment.
Anderson said he never made his thoughts known to Andrea Martel, the committee's representative on the school board.
"There's a dozen cuts I have on paper," said Anderson. "I just forgot to bring them. I didn't think I'd be asked the question." But several people did ask Anderson what cuts he had in mind.
Anderson insisted he had raised his hand to be recognized prior to discussion of Article 1 was complete.
The request took Allenstown School Board Chairman Tom Irzyk by surprise since, according to Irzyk, Anderson attended meetings where the budget was discussed and never brought up cuts.
Ong stood and gave an impassioned plea to not make such a drastic cut blindly.
"I'm appealing to you to rethink this," said Ong. "You are making a decision to cut a million dollars and you don't even know what is being cut."
Fowler called for a revote by secret ballot because of the narrow margin, over the objection of Lafleur.
The amendment passed again, this time by two votes, 35 to 33. Voters will vote on the school budget, among other items, on Tuesday March 11.
Irzyk said the budget committee had ample opportunity to voice any objections to the proposed budget long before Saturday's meeting.
"So now we're the ones who have to clean up their mess."