When it comes to the Bangor School budget, not everyone is happy with the way it’s decided.
City Councilor Pauline Civiello is pushing for more control by proposing a line-item budget format.
“It takes some of the pressure off if you can have all the options that are out there and right now we don’t have that particular option,” said Civiello.
“I’m not inclined to support it because I don’t think it’s necessarily the role of the city council to micro-manage the school committee budget. They have a duly elected committee, and if people are unhappy with the way they do business, they should advocate through the school committee, or perhaps even run for a school committee themselves,” said Civiello.
She believes being able to have more control over the budget could bring down tax increases on residents.
“Last year, we had a dollar fifteen increase per mill rate. This year, we’ve had one dollar. How many times can we increase property taxes ? Forever?”
“No one likes paying more than their fair share of property taxes, but people like the quality of the school system in Bangor. The tests scores and academic results we get in Bangor, given our demographics are really miraculous, to be honest with you, and schools are something we should be building around and not trying to bring down, not trying to attack,” said Sprague.
Civiello says she wants to create a bigger conversation and find ways to tighten the school budget, like hiring volunteers for extracurricular activities and possibly consolidating some schools.
Those opposed think changes like that could have serious effects on the quality of education.
“The fight needs to go to Augusta where we are losing funding, both for the schools and also for the cities. We’re losing a big portion of our share of our funding that’s been promised, so I really look at a what we should be doing and hopefully we don’t get to this point where the line item veto comes into play,” said Warren Caruso, Bangor School Committee Chair.
The full council is scheduled to discuss the line item proposal next Monday night.