Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 04 February 2011 00:00
David Flatley, superintendent of the Carle Place Union Free School District, has announced that a new “one-shot” budget rollout discussion will take place on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 9 a.m. in the high school auditorium.
Citing hurdles in the various aspects of the budget process, Flatley hopes the one-time public event will result in greater community input as opposed to the traditional rollout, which presented distinct pieces of the budget over the span of consecutive board meetings.
“We knew that this was going to be a difficult budget year. We decided to try to do things a little bit differently to give people an opportunity to participate more fully in the process,” said Flatley.
“Instead of doing budget roll-out a little piece at a time on six consecutive board meetings, which stretch out over a couple of months, we’re going to do a ‘one-shot’ on Saturday, Feb. 12 and rollout the whole recommended budget,” he added.
Flatley explained the “recommended” budget is not the board’s adopted budget, but rather the administration’s recommended budget. The Carle Place community voted in favor of the district’s most recent budget last May.
“It’s a pretty significant change and I’m hopeful that we’ll get a lot of people in the room,” said Flatley.
“We’ll have all of the month of March and the first couple of weeks in April before we have to adopt the budget. During that period of time, at board meetings and through conversations with board members, that’s when we’ll fine-tune the budget and make it hopefully something that the community will support,” said the superintendent.
“We have some pretty significant challenges. We’ll wait to hear what the governor says on the tax cap and figure out what it’s going to look like and I think that’s going to be a significant challenge for the school district,” said Flatley.
The superintendent also noted that the county has asked the district to pay for sewer service – marking the first time the county hasn’t absorbed that particular cost. He also mentioned the County Guarantee (tax certs) as a factor, which – given its elimination – will no longer cover the cost the county’s property assessment mistakes for schools.
“The health care regulations have changed, so health insurance costs increase as a result. Not that we can’t get it done, but it’s going to have an effect on the programs for kids because those are some costs that are out of our control,” said Flatley, adding, “That’s why we want to be out front with people and let them know about all of the different pieces of the programs and services that we provide.”