Mar 172016




Charlie Keeler called the meeting called to order at 12:53 p.m.

Article I:   To vote by Australian ballot on the following Town School District Officers:

-Moderator for a term of one year.

-SCHOOL DIRECTOR for a term of three years.

Charlie Keeler was elected as Moderator.

Kristin Husher was elected School Director.

(Due to there being no contested votes on the Official Town Officers’ Ballot, and pursuant to 17 VSA Chapter 55 Subchapter 003 §2682(f): “When the same number of persons are nominated for any town office as there are positions to be filled, the presiding officer may declare the whole slate of candidates elected without making individual tallies, provided each person on the slate has more votes than the largest number of write-in votes for any one write-in candidate. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 111; 2007, No. 54, § 14; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 53.)

There were a total of 450 ballots cast. Write-in candidates were counted and none of them reached the minimum number of votes required to qualify for office. All listed candidates had vote totals exceeding those of write-in candidates for each respective position.

Article II:   To vote by Australian ballot on the following:

-Shall the voters of the Brookfield Town School District approve the school board to expend $1,153,770, which is the amount the school board has determined to be necessary for the ensuing fiscal year?  This represents a .22% decrease from the previous year.  It is estimated that this proposed budget, if approved, will result in education spending of $13,545 per equalized pupil.  This projected spending per equalized pupil is 2.33% lower than spending for the current year.

YES – 273     NO – 164     BLANK – 13

Article III:   To vote by Australian ballot on the following:

-Shall the legal voters of the Brookfield Town School District appropriate the sum

of $80,883 for the support of the Building Maintenance Fund, which will come

from surplus funds from the 2014-2015 school year?

YES – 346     NO – 95     BLANK – 9

M. Maeder asked what the reasoning is behind applying the previous year’s surplus to the Building Maintenance Fund.

K. Husher said it allows us to maintain expenditures within the budget vs. having to go to a bond vote for a needed repair.

M. Maeder asked why it doesn’t go into curriculum development instead.

J. Merriam said if there is revenue, it is voted to go into school bus maintenance, unanticipated legal fund, or building maintenance. The Board reviews what potential financial risks exist for this school, in an attempt to prevent a subsequent catastrophic issue for the taxpayers. The revenue cannot cross lines on where it is spent.

K. Husher stated if we vote no for the surplus, it goes back to the State.

Article IV:   To vote by Australian ballot on the following:

Shall the Town school district of Brookfield, which the State Board of Education has found necessary to include in the proposed Orange Southwest Unified District (OSUD), join with the school districts of Braintree, Randolph, and Randolph union High School, which the State Board of Education has found necessary to include in the proposed Orange Southwest Unified District (OSUD), for the purpose of forming a unified district, as provided in Title 16, Vermont Statutes Annotated?

YES – 310   No – 125   BLANK – 15

K. Anderson asked for an update of what has been done for/at the school in the last year.

J. Merriam said the sewer lines have been replaced. The school is up to code on fire safety. Any health & safety violations have been resolved. With the OSUD, there is one maintenance crew for all 3 towns. There are 5 levels of maintenance, 5 being the highest. With the water/sewer issues corrected, they are working on level 3 issues. Heat has been installed in the garage to help maintain equipment.

C. Hryshko stated it isn’t easy going to a school board meeting because there is never a consistent time it actually starts.

K. Anderson said there is a meeting coming up about transportation on March 16th at 7:00 p.m. at the school. A letter went out to families concerning changes in transportation beginning next fall.

J. Merriam said there are 3 buses used in Brookfield for 52 students; 10 years ago, there were 115 students. Randolph uses 2 buses as does Braintree. There was discussion concerning the bus route changes.

K. Joyal stated that he has seen buses driven home and suggested that they should be stored at the garage to save transportation costs.

J. Merriam stated there will be a net gain of 6 students in Fall 2016 with 12 students starting kindergarten and 6 graduating this June. The school receives $85,000 for the small school grant, which would continue should Brookfield and the other local towns vote in favor of the consolidated OSUD.

With the unification the tax rate will be 1.26% and without it, the rate will be 1.46%.

Article IV (B): To vote by Australian ballot for the Board of School Directors if the OSUD passes.

For results of commingle of ballots for Board of School Directors (with Randolph and Braintree), contact the Town Clerk at any of the 3 Town Offices.

Article V: To see whether the Town School District will authorize the school board to borrow money in

anticipation of taxes for the ensuing school year.

Motion by Dove Cogen, seconded by B. Hale. Motion carried

Article VI:   To do any other business proper to come before this meeting.

Principal S. McKelvie stated the kids in town are why we have the school and the outcome from the Brookfield kids is impressive. Brookfield came in 2nd for the State annual assessment test. She noted that BES teachers have been meeting with teachers from the other local schools, and working as a team in identifying issues, approaches, and solutions.

Due to there being no more discussion, C. Keeler entertained a motion to adjourn. On motion by Dove Cogen, seconded by David Cogen, the motion carried to adjourn at 1:48 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Teresa Godfrey

Brookfield Town Clerk