Committee identifies finance, contract issues

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FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 director Irving Faunce of Wilton shared a Personnel and Finance Committee report with the board Tuesday.

Faunce, who is chair of the committee, said the overall intent of the committee is to develop and implement a transparent budget and expenditure reporting process and a regular update on personnel functions.

“In a report to the committee on Sept. 18, Superintendent Tina Meserve and Business Manager Kris Pottle identified unbudgeted expenditures, unfunded personnel agreements, and policy and contract issues that are of concern,” stated Faunce.

Unbudgeted expenditures are estimated at $230,000, he said. Unbudgeted expenditures include stipends for two Foster Tech Center coordinators, salary for an elementary teacher and a Jan. 1 substitute salary increase to meet minimum wage.

Due to an enrollment increase, technology costs are underfunded by a total of $14,222. Meserve stated the Technology Director has been instructed to stay within the budget to cover these costs.

Several contractual issues were also reported, including sick leave allowed for purposes outside of contract language and usage of sick bank hours approved with no waiting period.

“While this is a dramatic figure, it is important to view this estimate in the context of corrective strategies,” Faunce stated.

He stated a $184,748 buffer was in place due to new employees being hired at a lower rate than the employees they replaced.

Faunce noted Meserve would continue to analyze the issues raised in the report. The issues and corrective strategies would continue to be monitored by the committee.

“I am suggesting monthly, and perhaps bi-monthly meetings of the Personnel and Finance Committee with budget reports to the full board at the first meeting of each month,” Faunce stated.

“The committee is intent on correcting where we can, implementing policies, and perhaps forwarding policies to the Policy Committee for further review,” Faunce added.

dmenear@thefranklinjournal.com

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