The RSU 18 budget caused me some concern when I came to understand that the board awarded a sizable increase in teachers’ pay. As a lifelong educator, I appreciate the board’s generosity; but most of the teachers around the state with whom I have talked have not seen anything close to the sweetheart deal RSU 18 received.

Now that the budget has been rejected and there has been more discussion, I have come to find out there is a reported $1.45 million carryover (they call it surplus) from last year to this 2012-13 budget. Then on top of that, they want an increase of another $1.1 million.

RSU 18’s board and administration should tighten up their budget. The current economic climate has dictated that all businesses, families and responsible government entities tighten up their budgets and learn to get a little leaner, without getting meaner.

Since the district had $1.45 million left over from last year, there are things that can be cut without decreasing services. If they are making contract offers far more generous than those of other towns, they also need to find places to cut other things. They are overspending our resources.

The only budget I will vote to approve is a flat-funded budget. With $1.45 million surplus from last year and a $1.1 million requested increase this year, what we really should see is a budget request that is a $350,000 decrease.

Howard Holinger

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