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Board of Finance approves proposed BOE budget


Thursday night’s Board of Finance meeting sparked debate and discussion, but ultimately resulted in the approval of the BOE’s proposed budget in a 4-3 vote.

The budget proposal, a 4.82 percent increase over last year’s, reflected alterations made in a closed-session BOE meeting earlier that night. At this meeting, the BOE reduced its original proposal by $1.1 million. The change reflected reductions in projected healthcare costs following an audit of the health insurance accounts, a response to the health insurance shortfall which drew the accounts into a deficit.

The significant and last-minute change in projections concerned some BOF members. Vice-Chair Brian Stern suggested delaying voting on the health insurance portion of the budget.

“What is the urgency of making a vote when just minutes ago, we received information that you discussed just minutes ago?” Stern said. However, other BOF members as well as Superintendent Elliott Landon said that health coverage was too significant in the budget to be neglected.

Other features of the BOE budget include expanding the STEM program and restoring parity to the middle and elementary school start times.

BOF member Tom Lasersohn made a motion to cut the budget proposal by $200,000. “I’m willing to roll my sleeves up to find that money without affecting programs,” Lasersohn said. However, the motion was ultimately struck down 2-5.

BOF member Mike Rea was in favor of maintaining the budget, but felt that upcoming years would call for smaller increases. Other BOF members agreed, noting that the school budget has increased at double the rate of inflation.

Parents were split on the issue. PTA Council Co-President Sheila Flynn felt that the BOE’s original proposal was too lean. However, other parents felt that recent BOE budgets put undue strain on the school system for upcoming years, as the town may need to make up for increases that outrun inflation.

The close final vote reflected the split in opinions. After tonight’s meeting, the $109,202,984 proposal will move on to the RTM for discussion.

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Eliza Llewellyn, Web Managing Editor
Eliza Llewellyn ’14 is driven and well-rounded. Now that it’s her third year on Inklings, she’s ready to take the lead. As web managing editor, Eliza is excited to advance the Inklings website with innovations in media and graphics. It’s not going to be easy, and fortunately her experience as co-captain of the Staples JV tennis team has taught her the valuable leadership skills necessary for the job. Not only this, but her position on the yearbook committee and her commitment to playing piano constantly puts her time management skills to the test. While her job on Inklings may also be extremely time-consuming, she puts it above all else. “If I’m doing homework at 10:30 p.m. and a new e-mail pops up with an article, I stop what I’m doing to read it,” said Eliza. “It’s one of my first priorities.” When Eliza isn’t editing articles, she’s writing them. Last year she wrote a news story, "Legacies: Investigating a College Application Controversy," which she considers one of her best works. “It felt good to talk to guidance counselors and college admissions officers because I was finding information that people would not get otherwise,” said Eliza. This year she hopes to pursue writing in-depth and research-based articles, as well as find a good balance among all her extracurriculars. With her dedication and drive, there’s no doubt Eliza will go above and beyond.

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