UPDATED: 62 (and Counting) Maine Municipalities, Schools Pass Resolutions Opposing LePage Biennual Budget (LR 1046)

Posted on April 9, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

In light of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee March 25 public hearing in Brewer regarding the municipal aid portion of LR 1046, here is a list of the 29 40 48 55 58 62 various towns, cities and as of April 2, multiple school committees and county superintendents associations around the state that have now passed resolutions opposing Governor LePage’s biannual budget.

Among those who spoke at the AFA public hearing in Brewer:

  • Bangor finance director Debbie Cyr: “We understand the situation the state is faced with now is a culmination of past fiscal policy. But this proposal merely shifts the burden and ultimately the responsibility for state decisions to the municipalities.”
  • Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci: “It would require substantial layoffs across all departments.”
  • Brewer Mayor Kevin O’Connell (VIDEO): … is skeptical when (he) hears that legislators will not let the budget the governor is offering go forward as proposed. “We’re not buying it,” his statement says. “You need to stand by your promises. Don’t let revenue sharing go the way of school funding — a promise made but not kept.”

    Brewer would lose approximately $1.28 million, he said. (NOTE: More below on Brewer’s predicament. ~AP)

  • Brownville Town Manager Matthew Pineo: “Estimates the changes would raise the community’s property tax by $2.96 per $1,000 valuation.”
  • Madison’s part-time assessor (unnamed in article): “Municipal revenue sharing, which offsets municipal property taxes, has been around for three decades and taking it away is a big change.”
  • Town Councilor Mike Madore (VIDEO)
  • Easton Town Manager Jim Gardner: “We fought TABOR [Taxpayer Bill of Rights] and now we’re fighting our own governor.”
  • Town Manager Eugene Conlogue
  • Town Manager Dave Pearson

Some more video from the public hearing (h/t Maine Dems):

1. Brewer Firefighter Jason Gross: LePage’s budget will “destroy us”

2. Pam Pierson of Orland

A BDN article of note (4/1/13), as it illustrates the difficulties facing those mandated to submit time sensitive school budgets and highlights an especially vulnerable region’s immediate impact, due to Governor LePage’s zero revenue sharing proposal: Brewer school layoff notices to be sent May 1, but may be rescinded, officials say.

witches

    “I think a lot of people will be upset on May 1st,” school committee chairwoman Janet McIntosh said, stressing that she is worried about teacher reactions.

    How many jobs are actually cut, if any, will be determined in the coming months as state legislators and the governor try to iron out a budget, she and Superintendent Daniel Lee said.

    While state legislators work on the budget, the school department is under statutory obligation to notify teachers and staff who may not have a job next year, Lee said.

    “Next week, you have a meeting to try and settle on where we’re at,” he said to the school board, explaining the two-step process to notify employees. “At that time, I’ll give you positions to eliminate. Between April 1 and the May meeting, we’ll determine who these people are.”

    Lee said that he expects the budget process in Augusta to go down to the last possible minute, which means that if things improve financially, “you can withdraw the letters.”

    One out of every nine positions, mostly teachers, may be eliminated if all the cuts and changes proposed in Augusta under Gov. Paul LePage’s biennial budget are put into place, Lee and school department business manager Gretchen Gardner said last month when they outlined the budget figures for fiscal year 2013-14 to the school board. At that time the shortfall was estimated at $1.4 million. That amount has increased to $1.55 million.

Brewer High School, home of the Brewer Witches, serves at least a dozen area communities including Brewer, Holden, Eddington, Clifton, Dedham, Orrington, Amherst, Aurora, Osborn, Osborn Plt, Bradley and Glenburn.

Now for the ever-growing list of communities:

map

(This list will be updated as more municipalities submit their passed resolutions to the Legislature. ~AP)

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