Budget & Finance Subcommittee meeting began at 6pm.

Present tonight is the Business & Finance Director – Jared Stanton, Superintendent – Dr. Kristen Rodriguez, and school committee members – Peter Cronin, Jon Sjoberg, Alison Manugian, Jeff Kubick and Leslie Lathrop were present for the B & F portion of the meeting.

  • They are researching various companies to possibly perform an audit that could allow the district to learn creative ways to increase revenue and decrease expenditures without compromising the quality of our schools.  This is a fantastic idea. I am sure will be welcomed by every taxpayer in both Groton and Dunstable  It may cost some money to obtain this type of an audit but I believe it is important that it is done and shared with the community. It is important for the community to hear about current successes as well as what can improve on as there is always room for improvement.  It takes a confident professional to welcome audit of their process in efforts to see how you can improve it.
  • They discussed the want to investigate possible ways to align the budget time lines between the school budget and municipal to try to determine if there are any alterations in timeline or process that would benefit our town as a whole.  I was pleased to hear about this as it was one of my initiatives that I wanted to work on if elected to the school committee on May 17th . 

School Committee meeting began at 7pm.  Present are all school committee members above plus Stephanie Cronin

  • GDEF – They collected over 60K in there last a collection from their one & done fundraiser and awarded 25K in grants to various recipients. I will try to get a list of the GDEF grants that were awarded for my readers. Although I served on the GDEF Grant Review Committee and had the pleasure of discussing some awesome innovative, inspiring programs that would offer educational enrichment… I want to obtain the formal list to post from Caitlin O’Brien. 
  • GELD Election Flyer – SC approved 5-1 (Leslie Lathrop opposed) to have an election reminder flyer put in the GELD electric bills to arrive in homes the first week of May.  This will only include information on the date, time and locations where to vote on May 17, 2016 as an additional effort to remind taxpayers about the election as well as the override question that will be on the ballot.  This is a great opportunity to reach all Groton households with another reminder about the opportunity to vote in our town election that costs under $300…  talk about bang for your buck.  
  • Football MOU – A vote was taken to accept the MOU which includes lining the fields for FY17 as well as taking the club into the district beginning in FY18 with the understanding that strong fundraising will continue for the program to be successful.  Approved 5-1 (Lathrop voted no because she preferred to vote after the override). I am glad that the SC decided to take the vote as delaying the vote until after the override because your afraid someone is going to use it as a tool against the override is wrong.  Those that have already decided to vote “no” will be the people who choose to make this a reason as to why they vote that way. The vote should be taken on the football clubs financials and history of dedication and not dismissed until a later date because we have a pending override. I also agree with the outcome of this vote because of three main reasons that I list below.  
    • Football budget is currently in the black by approximately $26K
    • The GD Sports revolving account is currently in the red by -$16K
    • The football parents will be forming a new fundraising group that will continue to raise funds for GD Sports. I would like to go on record stating that I anticipate football to be a strong force that will help GD sports get into the black.
    • There was no promise to never bring football back into the district. The MOU was written in a manner that required the football club to prove themselves and then would be reviewed in three years. The progress of the club was reviewed three years later and reviewed again and over the last 8 years and the MOU is now retired. Eight years later they have a proven successful track record. 

Meeting Adjourned – 9:15pm