|Photo by Tracy Olson, courtesy of Flickr|
- Student tuition
- Chelsea's share of RSU 12 operating costs
- $7,000 or so in accounts receivable RSU 12 assumed when Chelsea joined its flock and
- Six months of payments toward the $31,000 the town approved for in-town bus transportation for its high school students.
Langsdorf, who has only represented the town since Swan's arrest, acknowledged that he had received the letter but was not yet familiar with the details surrounding the outstanding balance as to comment on the situation.
What Nault's question and Langsdorf's response did, however, was create a ripple of concern amoung the large audience that the town's financial issues could be much worse than feared.
I served on the Chelsea School Committee for two of the years prior to the formation of RSU 12 in which school budgets - approved by the townspeople - had spending lines frozen in anticipation of possible Chelsea school funding needs before and after the consolidation.
There was much uncertainty at the time and then-Superintendent Frank Boynton took a very conservative approach to school spending.
This approach meant that Chelsea's students and staff went without many supplies, educational materials and other resources - and created a budget surplus of approximately $606,000, according to Nault, that was turned over to RSU 12 when Chelsea joined it.
The surplus was released to the town both to help reduce its tax rate related to educational costs and pay its share of RSU costs.
Nault has been told that a total of $300,000 - two separate payments of $150,000 - was applied to the overall town budget to reduce the part of Chelsea's tax rate related to education.
Conceivably, that would leave about $306,000 from the original surplus to apply to the RSU 12 bill. If that money still exists and is available, why hasn't Chelsea's bill been paid?
Why did RSU 12 have to employ Drummond Woodsum & MacMahon as a de facto collection agency for a bill that should have been paid long ago - without the involvement of lawyers?
Why is Chelsea now thought of as the "deadbeat cousin" in the RSU 12 family?
Jerry Nault wants to know the answers.
So do I. And so should you.