January 20

Money restored to Winthrop school budget

Town councilors vote to keep $100,000 in the budget, citing potential teacher layoffs the cut would necessitate.

By Craig Crosby ccrosby@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

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Fitzgerald, who attended the meeting, responded by suggesting he would urge the council to reconsider the cut. He said the council “was not interested” in layoffs.

The budget will now go to voters for a referendum that was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 11. Town Manager Jeffrey Woolston was uncertain Monday night whether the vote would have to be rescheduled.

Regardless of when it takes place, Rosenthal is confident voters will approve the budget, which he noted is slightly less than last year. Cookson, however, does not share Rosenthal’s optimism. Based on comments he has heard, Cookson believes the budget is more likely to be rejected. If it is, the school board will have to repeat the process of developing new budgets to send to voters until a proposal is approved. The town council, by state law, would not play a role in that process, Cookson said.

What the voters will decide remains to be seen, but on Monday evening Rosenthal, teachers and the school board members who attended the meeting were wearing smiles of relief. School Board Chairman Isaac Dyer appreciated the councilors’ quick work to correct what Dyer believes was a mistake.

“It showed great courage on their part,” he said.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642 ccrosby@centralmaine.com

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