RSU 9 committee identifies finance, contract issues

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FARMINGTON — The chairman of the Regional School Unit 9 Personnel and Finance Committee told the board Tuesday night there is an estimated $230,000 in unbudgeted expenditures this fiscal year.

“While this is a dramatic figure, it is important to view this estimate in the context of corrective strategies,” committee Chairman Irving Faunce of Wilton said.

He said there is a $184,748 buffer because new employees were hired at a lower rate than the employees they replaced.

Faunce said the overall intent of the committee is to develop and implement a transparent budget and expenditure reporting process, and a regular update on personnel functions.

“In a report to the committee on Sept. 18, Superintendent Tina Meserve and Business Manager Kris Pottle identified unbudgeted expenditures, unfunded personnel agreements, and policy and contract issues that are of concern,” Faunce said.

Unbudgeted expenditures are estimated at $230,000, he said. Unbudgeted expenditures include stipends for two Foster Career and Technical Education Center coordinators, salary for an elementary teacher and a Jan. 1 substitute salary increase to meet minimum wage.

Because of higher enrollment, technology costs are underfunded by a total of $14,222.

Meserve said the technology director has been instructed to stay within the budget to cover these costs.

Several contractual issues were also reported, including sick leave allowed for purposes outside of contract language and use of sick bank hours approved with no waiting period.

Faunce noted Meserve would continue to analyze the issues raised in the report and the issues and corrective strategies would be monitored by the committee.

“I am suggesting monthly, and perhaps bimonthly meetings of the Personnel and Finance Committee with budget reports to the full board at the first meeting of each month,” Faunce stated.

“The committee is intent on correcting where we can, implementing policies, and perhaps forwarding policies to the Policy Committee for further review,” Faunce added.

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