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Open school budget meetings on tap

Much of the district's budget consists of salaries, which are deemed a personnel matter by the school and therefore something the budget group is not privy to.

Tebbano said he has met with Giordano on several occasions and the two have had many "constructive discussions," but that Giordano's criticisms had little to do with the new budget process changes.

"This is a new administration, a new era, and we want to show the community that we are dedicated to maintaining a good academic program while being fiscally responsible," Tebbano said. "The economy is bad right now and because people are focused on the economy, this will be a good opportunity to discuss what we are doing.

"We're going to be transforming the entire year into a budgetary process," Tebbano said at the Wednesday, Sept. 17, board of education meeting before the board unanimously adopted his recommendation to create the new public forum meetings.

Tebbano said he expects that Giordano will participate in the public budget forums and Giordano told Spotlight Newspapers earlier in the year that his conversations with the school on his suggestions appeared to be well received.

Giordano said his major complaint was that the citizen's budget group was not able to listen in on contract discussions and that teacher raises may be out of step with other professionals in the area.

The school has tentatively scheduled budget meetings for Jan. 26, Feb. 2, and Feb. 9 to be held at the district's main offices, 90 Adams Place, at 7 p.m. However, Tebbano said the school would move the meetings to the high school if there were enough interest in the meetings.

The superintendent also wants topic discussions from the public for the meetings and said residents can e-mail suggestions to him at tebbamp@bcsd.neric.org.

In the meantime, the district will also be holding various department budget hearing at various board of education meetings leading up to the May 2009 budget vote. A complete list can be found on the school's Web site.

"With the economy the way it is, we wanted people to understand that we don't get some kind of pass," Tebbano said. "My oil bill is more expensive, too."

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