Roland Bechtel: Reject DASD budget|
Friday, June 15, 2012
By Josh Woods Staff Writer
DUBOIS - DuBois Area School Board member Roland Bechtel last night at a monthly work session called on his fellow board members to reject the proposed 2012-13 budget at its regular meeting Wednesday, calling it a "wrongdoing to the taxpayers and property owners of DuBois Area School District."
Bechtel said the proposed 2012-13 budget is not balanced, and the primary reason there's a decrease in millage in Clearfield County is because the taxable real estate base has gone up. He said the millage would have been further decreased if there were not a tax increase.
The $54,373,301 budget proposal would set Clearfield County's millage rate at 81.75 mills (a decrease by 1.01 mills) and Jefferson County's millage rate at 28.92 (increase by 0.67 mills).
"The proposal is basically aiming toward approving what I would consider an unnecessary tax increase, and it's being characterized as a partial millage decrease," said Bechtel. "But that is just a spin, and it's supported by a budget that's being characterized as being balanced but it's not because money has been pulled from reserve funds to balance it."
Board President Thomas Repine asked Bechtel if he had any specific ideas on where the district could save money in its budget. Bechtel said the district should start by balancing the budget.
"When we are not spending more than we are taking in, Roland, we are balancing the budget," said Repine. "And not only that but you're giving a misconception here because a tax increase means my taxes would be going up. My taxes are going to be lower this year, as are yours."
"We have a lot of expenses, and as a responsible member of this board you would have to look at the fact that our retirement percentage is going to go up unbelievably next year," Repine said. "That money is going to be needed down the road so that in four or five years you don't have to raise the taxes for our citizens seven or eight mills like they did back in 1994."
Business Manager Sam Kirk Jr. said the budget must be submitted to the Department of Education by June 30. If the budget were rejected at Wednesday's meeting another meeting would have to be scheduled to vote on a revised budget.
Bechtel said he doesn't think a tax increase is necessary; however, he did not specify how the district might save money in its budget. When asked by Kirk if he supported a bigger deficit than what is proposed Bechtel said, "No, I support a balanced budget."
During the recognitions portion of the agenda, Superintendent Timothy Deluccia named DuBois Area School District's 2012 exemplary educators and support persons of the year award winners. Educators of the Year awards were presented to wellness department chairwoman Kitty Greiner and elementary instructor Christopher Sheloski. Support Persons of the Year awards were presented to Highland Elementary health aide Eileen Achey and Wasson Elementary secretary Patti Toney.
Deluccia presented the district's annual DuBois American Legion Award to Tessa Cashmer and Adam Bankovich and annual Sykesville American Legion Award to Amy Adams and Daniel Mehok. Each of the students scored the highest percentage on the Legion's qualifications on strength and stability, love of country, service, leadership, scholarship and moral courage, Deluccia said.
In other business, Deluccia said DuBois Area School District is featured in the national publication, All About Executives in a magazine article entitled "The Times Are Changing."
Vice President Scott Farrell was absent from the meeting.
DuBois Area School Board's next meeting is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the administrative building.