BOE gets budget deadline extension, thanks to mayor

The Shelton Board of Education offices.

The Shelton Board of Education offices.

Contributed photo

School administrators will discuss three possible budget scenarios with the Board of Education Monday, Feb. 10.

School Superintendent Chris Clouet will be presenting details on the impacts of education budgets increases of 2 percent, 2.5 percent and 2.9 percent. No final recommendation will made at this meeting, said Clouet.

The board has already held four budget workshops. During the first workshop, school officials stated that simply maintaining “level services” would require a 2.9 percent budget increase from the present fiscal year.

Monday’s workshop will be at 6 p.m. at the administration offices, 382 Long Hill Avenue. Clouet hopes to present his recommended budget the week of Feb. 17, according to board Chair Kathy Yolish, with a vote possible depending on the final recommendation.

Either way, the board has received extra time to deliberate on the final numbers thanks to the mayor’s office. Yolish said that Mayor Mark Lauretti has moved the required budget submission date to Feb. 24 - a 10-day extension.

“We are establishing a very collaborative bond with the mayor and city officials,” said Yolish. “It is being recognized and appreciated. Everyone wants to submit a budget that is fiscally responsible, and one that can be approved with little controversy.”

There are six new board members following the November election, with new leadership in Yolish and Vice Chair James Orazietti. The change, at least on the Republican end, was a major push by Lauretti and the Shelton Republican Town Committee.

The RTC refused to nominate Mark Holden, Anne Gaydos and Tom Minotti for re-election in November. The trio also failed in their primary attempts, and fellow Republican Darlisa Ritter was voted off in November. The new board makeup led to the election of Yolish as chair.

On the Democratic side, there are two new members — Patti Moonan and Diana Meyer — with Jose Goncalves choosing not to run and David Gioiello not re-elected.

Yolish said with so many new members and more detailed budget presentations from Finance Director Rick Belden, more time could be needed before a final vote.

Yolish said board members have, so far, been reviewing budgets for 20 hours, plus what the members review on their own time.