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Joyce Endee

Inter-Lakes principals, staff to get first say on preliminary budget

November 20, 2012
MEREDITH — Inter-Lakes administrators and staff will have the first shot at making budget recommendations this year.

Budget season for Inter-Lakes had traditionally begun with the school board giving budget guidance to the superintendent, who will take that guidance to the rest of the administration and staff to form their budgets.

Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond asked the school board during last Tuesday's meeting for guidance regarding the upcoming budget, though said she did not approach them earlier as she had a different practice in her previous district.

Ormond said her usual practice in her previous district was to talk to the schools and their staff and administration first, and then present the initial budgets to the school board. She said she was going to do this at Inter-Lakes, but then learned of the board's practice of giving guidance to the superintendent on what they wanted to see for the budget before the superintendent goes to the rest of the administration and staff.

Board members said they would be willing to work with Ormond's first approach, though advised putting an emphasis on fiscal restraint.

Board member Jack Carty noted how several capital issues had been taken care of by the end of the year encumbrances. He said this could be an opportunity to address other areas, especially programs.

"This may be an opportunity to implement some programs that may involve personnel costs," Carty said.

He said he did agree with Ormond's initial approach, saying he would want to know what the intentions of the principals were before knowing the intentions of the superintendent.

Board Chair Richard Hanson said he also liked Ormond's approach.

"We're looking for the leanest budget," Hanson said, saying the people of the schools should "come to us with what you feel you need to do the job."

Board member Carol Baggaley said she was amenable to trying this approach, noting that the board as a whole has the final say before the budget goes to voters.

Carty said he was giving Ormond the charge to keep pressing down on the budget with the staff, saying the budget should be the "price to pursue excellence as far as they can."

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
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