The Wisdom of Bloggers: Doesn’t Balancing a Budget Mean Spending Only As Much as You Take In?

Local Coventry blogger Scott “I am the Duck” Duckworth appears in today’s Nicole Wietrak Kent County Times story about last night’s Coventry financial town meeting…

The next issue on the table was the school budget, with resident Dennis Geoffroy making a motion to add $99,999 to the bottom line of $64.4 million.
Resident Scott Duckworth spoke in response to the motion and asked the school committee if the district’s budget had officially been balanced after the state announced its decision to level-fund education aid, which left Coventry $600,000 in the red.
“It is a balanced budget that we put together, which, as we all know now, is $600,000 short of what we requested,” said School Committee Chairman Raymond E. Spear (R-Dist. 1).
“But if you don’t have the money for it, then it’s not a balanced budget,” retorted Duckworth.
“Well, technically, no,” answered Spear
, “but we are aware of the place we’re at and we recognize that the budget is going to require cuts of up to a half a million dollars or more.”
In the end, 105 residents voted to give the additional money to the school department compared with 144 who opposed the action.
Only technically?

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Coventry Taxpayer
Coventry Taxpayer
16 years ago

Scott was right on in trying to get a straight answer out of Spear. This is something that is not easily had. In Coventry we have learned not to expect anything less than misleading spin from our school officials when it comes to finances. The “technically no” comment is the most candid response I have heard from our school leaders in the past couple of years with respect to our money. I’m sure it happened by accident.

16 years ago

Great job, Scott.
I’m not from Coventry, but this little bit caught my eye:
“The next issue on the table was the school budget, with resident Dennis Geoffroy making a motion to add $99,999 to the bottom line of $64.4 million.”
$99,999??? Would it be presumptuous from me to assume that there’s a reason why it wasn’t $100,000 or more? Like perhaps there’s some special rule that applies or more likely, that it would have to go on a town-wide ballot or something? It just looked very odd.

Coventry Resident
Coventry Resident
16 years ago

The fact in point is that the town council and the School Committee, always spend more than what they have. Mr. Spear didn’t want to answer because he would then let the people of Coventry know that we were having it (as they say)stuck to us again. And the reason they ask for the 99, is because if they go a penny over that then it goes to an all day vote. And for heaven’s sake they wouldn’t want to do that, because maybe, just maybe it would get voted down. That’s why Coventry is #1. AAAAhhhhh the deceptive practices in Coventry

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