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Minutes of the Special Town Meeting

July 9, 2008

Town Clerk Jennifer Kovacs called the meeting to order at the Lamoine Fire Station at 7:12 pm . Assistant Town Clerk Kathleen DeFusco and Ballot Clerk Joan Broussard checked in approximately 154 registered voters.

ARTICLE 1: To choose a moderator to preside over said meeting. (Election, by state law, must be by written ballot). Harvey Kelley was nominated and 2nd . A written ballot elected Mr. Kelley 3-0. Mr. Kelley swore his oath of office to Town Clerk Kovacs. Mr. Kelley established that he would operate according to the Maine Moderator's Manual. Mr. Kelley explained that it would be a long night and that if someone disagrees with his decision on an article there has to be at least seven people that agree and then he would take further action either by a written ballot or a decision of the house. He also asked if people would like to speak please come up to the microphones so people in back could hear as well as the people watching at home.

ARTICLE 2: To see if the Town will appropriate $1,000 from undesignated fund balance, allocating $400 to Public Safety/Fire Costs and $600 to be added to the Animal Control Account, for FY 2007/08 due to unanticipated expenses within the public safety budget. It was moved and 2nd to pass article as written. Hearing no discussion the motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 3: To see if the Town will vote to rescind its action of April 2, 2008 raising and appropriating $60,000 to a newly created fund called “Road Improvement Fund”, and instead appropriate $0.00 to said fund. (The Budget Committee recommends passage as written.) It was moved and 2nd to pass as written. Motion passed on hand vote.

ARTICLE 4: To see if the Town will vote to appropriate an additional $30,000 from Undesignated Fund Balance to reduce the municipal tax commitment for FY 2008/09 . (The Budget Committee recommends passage as written). It was moved and 2nd to pass as written. Franco Colella made a motion to amend article to read an additional $175,000 from Undesignated Fund Balance to reduce the municipal tax commitment for FY 2008/09. The motion 2nd . There was a brief discussion on what is the maximum that can be taken out of surplus. Jo Cooper explained that they did not want to take too much from surplus because of fuel costs. Short discussion on the cost of food, heating oil and fuel. Brett Jones wanted to remind everyone that the School and Town are two different entities. Stuart Marckoon explained that the Budget was made up of three parts the School, Municipal, and County. Using the figures supplied by the school committee it would bring up the mil rate to nine once the assessing is done. Someone asked if the 30,000 is part of the budget that was printed and distributed for this meeting. Mr. Marckoon answered that yes the 30,000 is included in the budget. Harvey Kelley explained that you can reduce the municipal budget but you cannot reduce the school budget it would change the intent of the article. The motion to amend was defeated. Original motion passed as written on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 5: To see if the Town will vote to rescind article 3 passed at the annual town meeting on April 2, 2008 and replace it with the following: “To see if the town will vote to set the date that property taxes will be due in two equal payments on October 31, 2008 and February 28, 2009, and to fix the rate of interest to 11.00% to be charged on the unpaid amounts beginning November 1, 2008 and March 1, 2009 respectively, and to fix the rate of interest paid for overpayments at 7.00% per annum.” It was moved and 2nd to pass article as written. Franco Colella wanted an explanation of the article. Stuart Marckoon explained that the payments would be due in two installments, similar to other communities. Gerald Jordan asked how come the October and February dates were picked. Mr. Marckoon explained that he called the city of Ellsworth to see how they did their tax payments then he just picked those dates for no particular reason. It was moved and 2nd to amend the dates to October 31 st and April 1 st . A discussion followed in regard to the amended dates. The amendment was defeated. Article 5 passed as written by a hand vote.

EDUCATION ARTICLES

ARTICLES 6 THROUGH 16 AUTHORIZE EXPENDITURES IN COST CENTER CATEGORIES

ARTICLE 6: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for Regular Instruction. ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $1,369,951.80)

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article with the recommended amount. Dr. Patricia Wyshak made a motion to amend the article from $1,369,951.80 to $1,384,151.80. Dr. Wyshak explained that she thought the positions for physical education, health, and music shouldn't be cut from full time to part time. Franco Colella explained he was opposed to the amendment because of the rising costs of living. The School committee explained the cuts for staff. Physical education, health, and music will be cut from 5 days a week to four days a week.

Carol Korty asked if the amended amount of the article would change the positions back to full time. Harvey Kelley explained that the School Committee has the authority to put the money wherever they want. Michael Garrett commended the School Budgets performance. Patricia Haslam asked how the cuts would affect the children's instruction time. The School Committee explained that this was the minimal amount of time for a cut in the positions. There was a brief discussion about the validation referendum process being very confusing. James Crotteau explained that the State is not funding our school; the problem is in Augusta and is not the School Committee's fault. Mr. Colella said that the drop in enrollment is the problem and we need to come up with a plan soon. Nancy Sargent said that a positive change was needed to bring families here to Lamoine. Discussion followed on the cost of taxes and how some residents cannot afford the increase in taxes. Someone asked what happens if this budget does not pass. Superintendent of Schools Jim Boothby explained that we have to educate the children in town no matter what happens. If the Budget does not pass the current operating budget would be the one presented. There was a discussion on where Lamoine would send the children if the Lamoine Consolidated School was closed. Chris Tadema-Wielandt made a motion to move to question. It was 2nd to move with no further discussion. The motion to amend passed on a counted hand vote of 84 yes 53 no. The motion as amended passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 7: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for Special Education . (The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $ 381,864.24)

It was moved and 2nd to pass as recommended. Small discussion on percentage of children who need Special Education. The motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 8: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for Career and Technical Education. ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $0.00)

It was moved and 2nd to pass as recommended. The motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 9: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for Other Instruction. ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $17,672.24)

It was moved and 2nd to pass article as recommended. The motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 10: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for Student and Staff Support . ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $51,632.87)

It was moved and 2nd to pass article with the recommended amount. There was a brief discussion on Staff Support. The motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 11: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for System Administration. ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $73,982.86) It was moved and 2nd to pass as recommended. The motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 12: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for School Administration . ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $100,328.24) It was moved and 2nd to pass article as recommended. There was a brief discussion on principal's salary. A motion to amend principal's salary to $45,000 was made and 2nd . Motion to amend failed on a hand vote. Motion to move to question without further discussion was moved and 2nd . The motion passed, and then the original motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 13: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for Transportation and Buses. ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $138,141.00) It was moved and 2nd to pass article as recommended. Someone asked how much was for fuel. School Committee said the increase from last year was about $15,000. The motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 14: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for Facilities. ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $131,247.31) It was moved and 2nd to pass article with recommended amounts. The motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 15: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for Debt Services and Other Commitments. ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $0.00) It was moved and 2nd to pass article as recommended. The motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLE 16: To see what sum the Town will be authorized to expend for All Other Expenditures. ( The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $24,500.00)

It was moved and 2nd to pass as recommended. Small discussion on the school's current freezer and the need for a new one. The motion passed on a hand vote.

ARTICLES 17 THROUGH 19 RAISE FUNDS FOR THE PROPOSED SCHOOL BUDGET

ARTICLE 17: T o see what sum the Town will appropriate for the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 as described in the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act and to see what sum the Town will raise as the Town's contribution to the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 as described in the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act in accordance with the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15688.

(The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend a total of $1,675,186.36 with a local contribution of $1,496,020.00 and a state contribution of $179,166.36.)

Explanation: The Town's contribution to the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 as described in the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act is the amount of money determined by state law to be the minimum amount that a municipality must raise in order to receive the full amount of state dollars .

It was moved and 2nd to pass article as recommended. There was a discussion on how much taxes would increase and the amount of the mil rate. The motion passed on a counted hand vote of 111 yes 6 no.

ARTICLE 18: (Written ballot required) To see what sum the Town will raise and appropriate in additional local funds , which exceeds the State's Essential Programs and Services allocation model.

The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $596,034.20 for additional local funds and give the following reasons for exceeding the State's Essential Programs and Services funding model by $555,301.57: The Essential Programs and Services funding formula, as implemented under LD #1 and LD #499, is structured to reward larger, more urban districts and penalize smaller and more rural districts with the policy objective of persuading the smaller districts to consolidate. If student enrollments remain static or decline, and/or property valuations continue to increase at a rate faster than the state average, the formula will calculate lower EPS total allocations and/or higher local contributions.

Explanation: The additional local funds are those locally raised funds over and above the Town's local contribution to the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 as described in the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act, and local amounts raised for the annual payment on non-state funded debt service that will help achieve the Town budget for educational programs.

It was moved and 2nd to pass article with the amended amount of $610,234.20. The motion passed on a written ballot of 116 yes 9 no.

ARTICLE 19 SUMMARIZES THE PROPOSED SCHOOL BUDGET

ARTICLE 19: T o see what sum the Town will authorize the school committee to expend for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2008 and ending June 30, 2009 from the Town's contribution to the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 as described in the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act, non-state-funded school construction projects, additional local funds for school purposes under the Maine Revised Statues, Title 20-A, section 15690, unexpended balances, tuition receipts, state subsidy and other receipts for the support of schools.

The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $2,289,420.56

It was moved and 2nd to pass article with amended amount of $2,303,620.56. The motion passed on a counted hand vote of 95 yes 4 no.

There being no further business to transact, Moderator Kelley declared the town meeting adjourned at 9:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Kovacs, Town Clerk