Scarborough officials promise dignified budget talks

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SCARBOROUGH — As a way to prevent frustration, town councilors and members of the School Board finance committee have established tenets of diplomacy.

Led by Superintendent of Schools George Entwistle and Town Manager Tom Hall in a joint meeting last week, they outlined necessary items to remember when planning and discussing the fiscal 2016 budget.

Topping the list were listen and show respect for others; treat each other with dignity and respect; practice transparency, avoid hidden agendas, and have a sense of humor.

The activity, while it might seem elementary, is necessary, Hall said. 

In the last year, councilors and School Board members have tried to facilitate formal dialogue. Now, a concerted effort is being made to begin that dialogue sooner rather than later, as the municipal and school leaders map their needs.

A big issue this budget season will likely be the School Department’s request for one-to-one technology for students at Scarborough High School. 

Councilor Shawn Babine received permission from both groups to plan a town hall-type meeting to discuss technology in the schools.

The Town Council, which does not have line-item veto power over the school budget, is expected to approve a school budget in May.

The school budget validation referendum is tentatively set for June 9.

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.