Region 15 – Middlebury and Southbury – Board of Education members reached a consensus Wednesday night on a revised budget figure Middlebury members walked out on a meeting about two weeks ago.
After all four Middlebury board members present at a May 14 budget workshop left in protest of revised budget proposals, the board didn't have quorum to vote on a budget to put forward to the voters, Southbury town officials said. The board spans two towns in the region that includes Pomperaug High School. Both Middlebury and Southbury must have at least one representative at the board meeting in order to vote.
The school budget did not pass a first referendum, so the board is working to revise the budget in time for a new referendum on June 4, according to Southbury town officials.
The Southbury Board of Selectmen sent a statement to media on May 16 expressing its "disapproval" and "concern" about the Middlebury school board members' actions.
"We strongly encourage them to rejoin their fellow Board of Education members at the planned workshops during the week of May 19 – 23 and perform the duties incumbent upon them as elected representatives on the Region 15 Board of Education, which include working in the best interest of the students in Middlebury and Southbury," the statement from the Board of Selectmen said.
Southbury's selectmen also expressed concern in the statement that the situation could disrupt the budget process and "create significant problems for the Town of Southbury if a Region 15 budget is not put forward for referendum and approved in a timely manner."
"This will impact our Town’s ability to set a new mill rate, send out tax statements and disrupt the overall flow of funding for the Town to operate in Fiscal Year 2015," the statement said.
Middlebury school board members have received a mixture of positive and negative feedback about walking out on the budget meeting last week, according to the Republican-American. But Francis G. Brennan, a Middlebury member of the school board, told the newspaper before Wednesday's budget workshop that the Middlebury board members planned to participate in the budget deliberation to arrive at a reasonable revised proposal.
The board is scheduled to vote on the proposal on Tuesday, May 27, according to Southbury officials.
More information will be provided as it becomes available.