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Board approves school system’s Operating Budget for 2014-15

Flag City LogoBy Bill Short

The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen adopted a resolution this week to approve the municipal school system’s Operating Budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
Board members took the action Monday night, when their “adjourned” June 9 regular monthly meeting was “reconvened.”
A motion offered by Alderman Bethany Huffman and seconded by Alderman Thomas McGhee was passed by six affirmative votes, with Alderman Frankie Dakin absent.
The Millington School Board adopted the final revision of its $25,569,113 budget during a June 11 special called meeting. Section 49-2-101 of the Tennessee Code Annotated requires that it also be approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
In its General Fund Budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, the city board has budgeted for Millington’s local share of funding and made provisions for startup costs as additional funding in the first year.
The resolution states that the total funding from the city to the schools will not exceed the budgeted amount of $1.3 million for operations and $800,000 as beginning cash and reserve funds for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
It also states that the city board approves a General Purpose School Fund Budget made up of “spendable appropriations” of $24,769,113 and $800,000 representing cash transferred on or after July 1 to the bank account for beginning cash and reserve funds.
It authorizes the school board or Dr. David Roper, superintendent of the municipal school system, to transfer funds between accounts and to establish new accounts as necessary for the system’s finances.
It also notes that the total appropriations or revenues of the $24,769,113 cannot be increased or decreased.
Shortly before the vote, Interim City Manager Chris Dorsey thanked Bruce Rasmussen, supervisor of the school system’s Fiscal Services, for working with him to “get this all put together” for the benefit of the school board and the city.
During the portion of the meeting designated for Board Reports, Huffman expressed appreciation to Rasmussen, Roper and the school board for working with the city.
Because of comments she has heard about the “lack of communication,” Huffman asked the two boards to propose some “guidelines for future work sessions” to make the process easier next year.
“The best thing we can do as leaders is learn from what we’ve done and where we’ve been and try to improve the process,” she noted. “So, I would hope that, in the next few months, we can work through that and come up with a better communication plan for next year.”
While declaring that communication is “mostly about relationships,” McGhee said they had not been established when the process began, because the school board had just been elected and had employed Roper.
Although he acknowledged that the communication could have been “smoother,” McGhee said some of the things that were “impediments” were more “imagined than real.”
“And I would hope that we would not take a camera in our face as a necessity or even a right to take something outside that really hadn’t been addressed inside,” he noted. “We need positive PR for those who see us on TV and not the bickering that we’ve seen historically from our bigger neighbor to the south.”
McGhee encouraged Millington’s residents to be supportive of the school board and the parents who will be sending their children to the city’s schools.
“We want this to be the best school system it can be,” he noted. “And it’s only going to be that if we all pull together.”
Mayor Terry Jones said he thinks “a lot of misinformation” had been communicated to many of the city’s residents.
“I’m glad we’ve got this settled now, and it’s approved,” he concluded. “So, we’re going to continue with our school system, get the kids to school and get the teachers back to work.”

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