RSU 10 residents pass $35.1 million budget

 RUMFORD — A proposed 2012-13 RSU 10 operating budget of $35.1 million was passed in about 90 minutes Thursday night.

Eileen Adams/Sun Journal

Residents of the 12 towns in RSU 10 lined up just prior to the budget vote to sign in with their respective town clerk. About 100 people attended the budget vote.

Sumner resident Tom Standard unsuccessfully attempted to amend many of the 21 articles by proposing reductions of 5 to 20 percent.

We do not live in an affluent neighborhood, with 63 percent of students eligible for free or reduced lunches," he said. "We with limited means must stick to the basics. We cannot afford a luxury class school and I believe schools can cost less,” he said.

Standard proposed reductions in regular education from $12.6 million to $10.7 million, in special education from $5.6 million to $4.8 million, and in vocational education from $1.8 million to $1.5 million, among many others.

Several people from the Buckfield-Sumner-Hartford area often agreed with Standard's proposed amendments, along with some from Dixfield and Byron.

Roger Boucher, a former selectman from Byron, said spending about $16,000 per child for the 19 to 24 youngsters who attend RSU 10 was a major reason for that town's attempt to secede from RSU 10.

I don't understand the formula,” he said, that charges much more for children from Byron to attend school than it does for those from larger communities.

Our children get the same education as everyone else,” Boucher said.

Superintendent Tom Ward said property valuation increases are particularly hard on small communities, such as Byron. This year, those increases totaled $45 million.

He said next year, valuations are expected to drop by $18 million systemwide which should help the smaller towns.

Residents approved the additional local share of $4.9 million by written ballot. That vote was 60-27, which pretty much reflected the hand votes taken throughout the 20 other articles.

Buckfield resident Judy Berg said Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris passed a similar budget, but has 600 more students than RSU 10 which enrolls about 2,800.

The next step in the process will likely have far more voter participation.

Residents from the 12 member towns will vote by referendum on just one question: the $35.1 adopted budget. That vote takes place June 12.

The current budget is $34.1 million.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Misleading the Voters?

"According to statistics provided by school administration, if the proposed budget is passed as presented, the following school tax increases would be assessed on a home valued at $100,000: Buckfield, $88.22; Byron, $107.15; Canton, $15.37; Carthage, $101.11; Dixfield, $67.80; Hanover, $111.27; Hartford, $61.33; Mexico, $99.52; Peru, $20.83; Roxbury, $89.91; Rumford, $61.15; and Sumner, $24.77."

CAUTION .. To all voters in the towns of RSU10 - The tax increases that are shown above and that have been printed in this newspaper on two different occasions in the last few days are at best misleading. The actual increases to taxpayers are far greater than what has been reported in this article. I personally verified with Buckfield, Dixfield and Sumner what the proposed RSU10 budget would do to the mil rates in those towns. Let' compare the figures between this article and the actual increases to taxpayers that was verified with each town. (All increases are for the RSU10 portion only of property taxes and are based on a $100,000 property valuation) Buckfield - article claims $88.22 increase - town says it will be $156.30. Dixfield - article claims $67.80 increase - town says $150.00 +/-. Sumner - article claims $24.77 - town says $153.00. I encourage all voters to disregard this propaganda, which was distributed to the press by the school district administration, as just that propaganda. Call your local town office and ask what the real affect on your taxes will be if this school budget passes as proposed. Make sure you have the facts before deciding if you are willing to vote yes or no on the budget. I have brought this discrepency to the attention of the Sun-Journal and am still awaiting them to correctly inform the taxpayers of RSU10 to the correct financial impact this budget will have to each town. Mr. Thistle & Ms. Adams ?

 's picture

For Dixfield, add the $67.80

For Dixfield, add the $67.80 to the $150.00 and that will be the increase to a owner of property valued at $100,000.

 's picture

Get out the vote!!

Than let’s vote NO on this budget - let's send a message that we as taxpayers are hurting. We all value the education of our children, however; when some families in this district are choosing between groceries to feed their children, between gas to get to work or paying their property taxes (for which in Buckfield, 66% goes to the school district) when does the message get received to the school district administration and to the liberals in our district that sacrifices have to be made in the school budget - we are all making sacrifices at home in these economic times. In Buckfield I will personally have a 9 percent increase in my property taxes if this budget passes. I can tell you all that I have not had an increase in my income since before Barack Obama was elected to the White House. We all complain when our taxes increase but vote overwhelmingly to pass a school budget increase. As Ronald Reagan said many years ago, "are you better off than you were 4 years ago" - I can for one answer without a doubt, absolutely not! That makes no sense - if you do not get a raise each year and the cost of living increases - than you are poorer or have less buying power than you had the previous year. In addition; the "fixed" increases that are mentioned in each school budget proposal are primarily CONTRACT raises for staff a.k.a. unions - who demand a raise despite performance or economic circumstances. Maybe union raises should be based on economic conditions and performance --- I know that is a conservative ideal of being compensated on performance -- but let's all give it some thought - as we in the real world live and die by that ideal. What makes this even more vile is the fact that the school district is putting forth tax increase numbers that are below each town's expectations by as much as 600%. We all know that this is a political process, however we expect the people, of who receive their salaries from our tax dollars, to tell us the truth, and quite frankly it offends me when they "skew" the reality of the situation with numbers that are far below the actual numbers. GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS - VOTE NO!! Make the school district live within the same financial limitations that each household has to live within - that means if you have no more money to spend than in the previous year than you do NOT ask for more!! Furthermore, where are the savings we were promised when we voted to send the control of SAD #39 to Dixfield? Please do not respond by saying that there have been no increases in the school budget since the consolidation 3 yrs ago – they are from each town in SAD # 39 shares from the former district – not an actual savings from the consolidation.

Norman Mitchell's picture

spending

vote this down we cant afford worst economic downturn sense the great depression

I agree Norman

Probably half the people voting were the teachers who work in the system. I have blogged in the past how savings could come about. The people we voted to represent us don't want to rock the boat so they won't do what's necessary to cut costs. We as voters need others holding those position who will make those decisions. If there are candidates running who can't then write in someone who will. This is one way to send a message. When a write in wins then the message of" WE ARE FED UP" maybe things will get done that should get done.

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