Voters of Minot, Mechanic Falls and Poland have voted twice to not accept the Regional School Unit 16 school budget for 2011-12.
I attended the school board meeting on June 27 to see what the board would do next. It was immediately apparent to me that the school board and Superintendent Dennis Duquette don’t place much value in the democratic process. Duquette made it quite clear that he was not interested in reducing the budget and instead wants to put items back in.
He stated that the next referendum vote was being postponed until September when “parents return from vacations and would be available to go vote in favor of the budget.”
The Budget Committee chairwoman then said she wanted to return to the original $19-plus million. There was not one comment from any board member affirming that the voters had spoken.
The $17.8 million budget is being implemented July 1, and the board already hired one new teacher at this meeting. They do not seem concerned with the plight of the taxpayers trying to get by in the worst economy since the Depression. Everyone wants their children to get a good education, but this is a time to look at the big picture. Making do should be a priority all around, including the schools.
It seems to me that members of the RSU 16 school board have forgotten who elected them to office, and that they are incapable of making the hard decisions.
Nancy Fraser, Poland