We’re here at the third installment of Town Meeting, after a quick and dirty detour through a special Town Meeting. Rep. Will Brownsberger is giving us an update on the budget picture at the State level and, of intense interest…
The Belmont Citizen Herald wrote up a story on a presentation I did for the Board of Selectmen this week on introducing smart parking meters around the commuter rail station. The BOS think its a great idea and want to move to a pilot. No Freeloader thinks its a terrible idea and that I’m a…wait for it…freeloader!!
A proposed budget using the Warrant Committee’s “Available Funds” for the school proposes eliminating five full time teaching positions, art and music instruction at the elementary school level, language instruction at the middle school level and steep cuts to support services district wide. Time to get angry, people!
Just a heads up, y’all, that there are a slew of important budget meetings looming, starting this Tuesday evening, January 11, when School Superintendent, Dr. Entwistle will present the proposed FY 2012 budget to the School Committee. This meeting is in the Community Room at Chenery Middle School and will be the public’s first look at the budget for next year. From what I’ve heard, this is a “make the best of a bad situation” budget with some sobering numbers. We’ll need your help and involvement to win the funding our teachers and administrators need to preserve critical programming. Here are some dates to put on your calendar.
Two events to put on your calendar: an October 13 chat with Massachusetts House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Murphy on the state of the State’s budget. Then set aside the evening of October 27 for an important Community Dialog on the future direction of the public schools.
With all the debate in town about preserving our elementary school libraries, I couldn’t help but note this story on the front page of today’s New York Times about sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury’s crusade to preserve public libraries in his home, Ventura County, California.
An amendment by TM member Anne Mahon targeted at using free cash to preventing cuts at Belmont High School and preserving elementary library aides looked like a long shot, but won overwhelming support at Town Meeting last night. Where were you when you heard the Cat Leash speech?
MSBA Executive Director Kathy Craven told Belmont voters that now was the time to act on funding a new Wellington Elementary School, and that $12.4m in State funding will be off the table, and given to other towns if the town fails to pass a debt exclusion in June.
Proposed cuts to local aid and a variety of programs supporting public education programs could hit Belmont, and other towns, hard.
Federal stimulus money may not avert staffing cuts. The School Committee meeting at Chenery Middle School Tuesday at 7:30 PM may be your best opportunity to speak out against cuts to teaching and support staff in Belmont’s Public Schools.