So the first meeting of the School System Budget Review Committee happened tonight. A primer for those of you new to our story:
The committee's web page is here.
The legislation is here.
The documents from the HCPSS budgets from FY13 through FY17 we have been given to review to date are here.
Last, you can catch the webstream of the meeting here.
As to the question of the evening: what did you think of the meeting? I think it was a good start, but I'm a bit surprised that someone actually asked if this post could be prevented from happening!
Wait, what? Yep, my reaction, too. One of the committee members asked the Office of Law representative if writing a blog about what goes on at these meetings was legal. To which, the Office of Law representative said, sure!
I find it incredible that someone serving on a public committee, discussing public business, would seriously ask if the First Amendment could be waived? Course, the person didn't expressly say that....but they kinda did. And I'm not going to identify or say anything about the person, because frankly, I'm the bigger person. You can watch the stream if you want to see who it was. Or read the comments to this post here or on Facebook.
Anyway, on to the meat of the meeting.
I thought it was a useful introductory session. Josh Kaufman was elected chair and Olga Butler was elected vice chair. It was decided that we would meet biweekly to start, increasing the frequency of meetings as and if needed. For the next meeting--date and time to be determined-- we will have an introduction to the HCPSS budget-- how it gets formed at the department/unit level, how it comes together, the approval process, etc. Not sure if we'll get through that it one meeting but we'll try. I understand that the HCPSS Finance Director (who I believe is now the Chief Financial Officer) will be invited to lead this session. I look forward to attending this session in a couple weeks. We have a lot of smart people on the committee but we all need to learn more, and we don't have time to waste.
The committee has been charged to carry out it's business until July 31, 2017, though it can of course finish work before that. One of those deliverables would be to provide recommendations regarding the FY18 HCPSS budget process. Whether those recommendations are ones of process or product or both-- we need a bit more guidance, I think. And we need to start making those recommendations by winter!
I'm looking forward, at the next meeting, to learning more about how the County Auditor's office is doing in performing it's audit of the HCPSS finances. And I'm thinking about items for regular agenda topics. Open to your ideas so please feel free to send along!
So, that was a nice post, right? Informative? Why did someone try to keep me from writing this post? That's not very nice. Anyway, it was a good meeting but IMHO, we need the cooperation of the HCPSS staff and leadership to do our work.
Let's be careful out there.
#hcpss #hococouncil #hocobudget #hocoschools