Minutes of October 26, 2011
Members present: J.J. Prior, Stephanie Kleine, Chris Pratt, Paul Bolduc, Jen Labadie, and Malinda Scherpa.
Absent were Dana Briggs, Matt Burke, and Julie Wilber.
The meeting opened at 6:30 PM. Jen reported that, at the moment, it looked like the MRSD Board was ready to accept most of the recommendations of the budget committee which would reduce the overall budget. She repeated her concern that one of the recommendations to the board to meet the budget target was to close or reduce the northern schools. She also noted that no final decision had been made and that the board was next scheduled to meet on November 5.
Stephanie and J.J. reported that they had contacted Rob Mitchell from the Gilsum Committee. Their committee was nearly unanimous in their recommendation that Gilsum stay in the MRSD. As we suspected, the cost of buying back the school and its associated start up costs were simply too much for the community to bear. Our committee noted that without the prospect of a cooperative district, option #2 on our list was no longer viable.
A motion was placed on the floor and seconded that our committee recommend to the Sullivan Board of Selectmen that they adopt option #4. That option would send our middle and high school students to Keene and explore a local elementary school for our students. At the moment this would either be Nelson or Harrisville.
Discussion then centered on rewording some of the language in option #4 and to clarify our prose, update some of the statistics, and strengthen the language for both the pros and cons. We added some more “bullet points” and wrote an executive summary to our report. We continued to disagree about the exact cost figures because of the difference between what the town reports that it sends MRSD each month and what the district says that it takes in. We agreed to use the town’s figures. There was also some disagreement over the amount of tuition charged by Nelson and Harrisville since they gave us a range rather than an exact figure. It was agreed to “split the difference” in the range. We felt this was justified since the final amount would be subject to negotiations.
With that accomplished, the motion was put to a vote and passed the committee unanimously. The next step will be to finalize the draft and get it to the selectmen. J.J. will handle that. We will then meet with them at their next meeting on October 31 and discuss the matter.
It was agreed to meet with the Board of Selectmen on Monday, October 31, 2011, at 7:15 PM at the Sullivan Town Hall.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.
C. Christopher Pratt