The members of Sidney’s Board of Selectmen, after a fair review, have determined that they cannot support the budget proposal for RSU 18, which is currently in front of the voters.

The budget, which was approved by the RSU 18 school board at its July 11 meeting, totals $32.6 million, an increase of $624,648, or 1.95 percent, over the previous year’s budget. The administration and school board, however, continue to ignore is the fact that the proposed budget is $1.7 million higher than last year’s actual expenses, or 5.66 percent.

These continue to be tough economic times for all of us. Many in our community struggle to make ends meet and have not seen an increase in take-home pay for several years.

We selectmen value the education that our children receive, but we cannot support a budget increase that will raise Sidney’s school tax bill nearly 3 percent. We request that our school board take a closer look at actual expenses and make concessions, just as many of us are doing at home.

Sidney’s share of the RSU 18 budget makes up more than 86 percent of residents’ property tax bills. The proposed budget increase will drive that figure even higher.

A flat-funded budget still would allow a $1.1 million increase (or 3.44 percent) over last year’s actual amount spent. We believe that still is excessive, but it is much more reasonable.

A flat-funded budget would provide enough money to ensure that jobs, classroom sizes, course offerings and extracurricular and cocurricular activities would see little or no changes. A flat-funded budget would get the support of this board and, we believe, the majority of our residents.

Town of Sidney

Board of Selectmen

Chairman John Whitcomb, Doug Eugley, Brent Dugal, Peter Schutte, Kelly Couture

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