On Town Meeting Day, Milton voters approved the town’s $7.8 million budget – a 5.3 percent spending increase – but failed the school’s $30.1 million budget 1,038 to 677 on the first go-round.
The measure would have increased spending by $1.5 million, or 5.45 percent, and upped education spending per equalized pupil by 6.79 percent. The board’s re-crafted $29.2 million proposal was a 1.98 percent increase. Education spending per equalized pupil climbed to $14,585, a 3.56 percent increase over the previous year.
With low voter turnout, the ballot passed 785 to 671. Adding an in-house psychologist and world language teacher were included in the measure.
In Georgia, a $2.8 million town budget was approved 87-22 by paper ballot on the floor during Georgia’s traditional Town Meeting. Taxpayers also approved the $12.5 million school budget by a slimmer margin via Australian ballot, 339-263.
Milton Selectboard chairman Adams recognized taxpayers are at their limits.
“People are paying all that they can, and they are looking for a very conservative budget that still meets the needs of the community,” he said. “That is a tough balancing act.”
Indeed. We’ll see how our school and selectboards walk that tightrope in early 2018, when budgets will be finalized for March ballots.