ORANGE — Nearly two months after leaving town meeting empty-handed, members of the School Board got it handed to them Tuesday night when voters whacked $50,000 from their $2.7 million budget request.
It could have been worse. On a night that began with a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance and a primer on parliamentary procedure from Moderator Adrian Otterman, voters narrowly defeated proposed cuts that started at $73,000 and escalated — before finally settling on $50,000.
At one point, a proposal to cut $228,875 was made as tempers were growing short.
That amendment was defeated by a reasonably close voice vote nearly three hours into the meeting. By that time, there had already been a dizzying series of eight paper ballots, two of which would have sent the board home without a budget yet again. Instead of ending the meeting, voters agreed to keep talking.
At about 9:30 p.m., voters considered yet another cut to the budget, this one a $50,000 reduction in the $2,728,875 spending plan proposed by the School Board. It was the 11th paper ballot of the evening and finally passed, 78-26.
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