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Brighton School Board Approves Revised 2012-13 Budget

The district is looking for recommendations on cutting expenditures.

In another divided vote, the Brighton Board of Education voted 4-3 to approve a revised budget of $52 million at it's Monday night meeting.

If the budget is balanced or not hedges on Lindbom Elementary selling before the end of the fiscal year. If the school does not sell before June 30, then the district is looking at an operating deficit of $445,000, according to Assistant Superintendent of Finance Maria Gistinger.

Board Vice President Bill Anderson, Secretary Nick Fiani and Trustee John Conely cast the votes opposing the budget revision.

Fiani called on fellow board members who had said they would not approve deficit budgets to keep their word.

"This budget is not balanced right now," Fiani said. "That's all there is to it. We don't have the sale of Lindbom in our pocket. I think it would be irresponsible to be honest to approve this budget."

Superintendent Greg Gray told board members that they could approve the amended budget and still have the ability to make reductions before the next amended budget.

However, Gistinger warned that the longer board members wait, the harder it will be to to recoup those dollars.

Gray said the administration needed feedback from board members. In the past two weeks since the Committee of the Whole meeting on Jan 28, Gray said he only received two pieces of feedback from the seven board members in terms on reductions.

"To say you can't cut programming won't work, because a half a million dollars more than halfway through the year is a challenge," said.

Gray said the district absolutely could cut $500,000, but it would cut programming that could have a negative aspect.

Board members said they would work with Gray and Gistinger to work on specific areas where the budget can be trimmed without directly affecting programs or students.

JS February 15, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Step up the efforts to get the building sold or leased. Clean it out and hire a consultant to work with the MEDC or local SDDA for suitable new tenant or purchaser.

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