WINTHROP — Almost 100 people turned up Wednesday evening with plenty of ideas on what they wanted cut from the school budget that has twice been rejected by voters.

The suggestion from School Board Chairman Ike Dyer that people who wanted to speak take sticky notes labeled with budget items got no takers.

Instead people offered their own ideas for coming up with a budget that might pass at the polls.

Pat St. Clair wanted fewer administrators and principals, but wants to keep all the teachers.

Tom Rudder, a former assistant principal, sports coach and teacher, said he too wanted administrative posts cut.

Nate Rudy said he saw too much of a vertical hierarchy compared to the schools he was used to in Maryland. He also argued against cutting the middle school art teacher post.

Jane Precourt suggested, among other things, that the board consider resigning en masse to make a huge statement and gain publicity for the schools’ plight.

The approximate $10 million school budget has gone down to defeat twice at the polls. The board will decide next week whether a new version will go to another referendum.

Jennifer McConnell, a 15-year resident, asked for no reductions.

“We’re telling you we want another chance to do no cuts,” McConnell said, getting applause at the end.

The room was hot and the discussion heated up as the meeting reached the two-hour limit set by the school board. Board members said they need to make $249,000 in cuts that would bring the budget back to that of the 2011-2012 school year.

Many of the speakers said the schools lacked a vision and a plan for moving forward.

“We don’t understand where the school system is going,” McConnell said. “Please give us a vision.”

Steve Curtis suggested taking that money from the municipal side and working on a plan for next year.

Chairman Kevin Cookson said he would highly recommend against it. “That money in surplus protects everybody in this town,” he said. He said the surplus fund totals $900,000.

Dick Dyer said the board should “sit down with the Town Council and work on this problem together and not try to balance this budget on the backs of the school alone.”

Betsy Palleschi Rowe said the budget is too high. “I’m a state employee. I am a single parent. I haven’t had a raise in five years, and I don’t see one coming.”

As residents stood at a podium to address the school board and the audience, the voting booths were at their back.

They’ll be used again at referendum if the school board votes next week on a new budget.

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