Poor Turnout at Raymond School Deliberative Session
By Penny Williams 2-9-15

The weather was clear and not as cold as it had been recently, but the Raymond School District Deliberative Session still drew only 17 residents not officially connected to the event, and the Saturday morning, Feb. 7 meeting was adjourned in a record-setting 28 minutes.

There was not a single comment or question on the four articles considered at the Deliberative, and all were forwarded to the ballot as written. The only action taken by the deliberative body was to vote that no article could be reconsidered.

Article 2, the School District operating budget of $22,887,644 and the default budget of $22,971,466 - $83,822 more than the proposed budget - represents a $280,450 or 1.2 percent increase over the 2014-2015 budget of $22,607,194. The article was recommended unanimously by both the School Board and the Budget Committee.

The proposed budget includes the elimination of the Raymond High School media aide position. Salaries and benefits account for 71 percent of the budget.

The tax impact of the $280,450 increase in expenditures and the decrease in revenue of $14,941 will translate to a $.35 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. With no comments or questions on the proposed operating budget it was forwarded to the ballot as written.

Article 3, Collective Bargaining for the teachers’ union, recommended unanimously by both the School Board and the Budget Committee, asked voters to approve the $247,594 estimated increase resulting from the negotiated one-year contract for the district's 132 members.

The School Board pointed out that Raymond lost 20 teachers last year, only two of those due to retirement. School officials said Raymond teachers earn an average $47,246 while the state average is $54,712. The new contract doesn't bring teacher salaries up to the state average but "narrows the gap," they said.

With no questions or comments, Moderator Timothy Louis moved Article 3 to the ballot as written and the body voted not to allow reconsideration.

Article 4, allowing the School District to call one special meeting at its option if Article 3 is defeated, drew no comments or questions and was moved to the ballot as written, with a vote not to allow any reconsideration of the article.

Article 5, Capital Reserve, recommended unanimously by both the School Board and the Budget Committee, also drew no comment or question and was forwarded to the ballot as written. The body voted not to allow any reconsideration of the article.

The total amount taxpayers are asked to raise by Article 5 is $214,000, which includes $164,870 to be placed in the Raymond School District Equipment, Facilities Maintenance and Replacement Capital Reserve Fund. This would cover Raymond High School safety cameras, flooring at Lamprey River Elementary School, energy recovery units for attached portables and two Lamprey River Elementary bathrooms, and savings for roofing projects.

The Textbook Capital Reserve Fund would get an infusion of $36,000 for math textbooks. The Food Service Equipment Capital Reserve Fund would receive $7,000 for a steam table at Lamprey River Elementary and $6,130 for a condenser and evaporator at Lamprey River, for a total of $13,130.

The tax impact of the $214,000 is estimated at zero.

After the meeting was adjourned, comments made by a couple of residents in attendance indicated that they were not surprised by the results and that the rapid pace was at least in part a product of the small number of people attending the deliberative.

To watch the school deliberative session on RCTV
click on Raymond School Deliberative Session










Can’t remember what happened last year or prior years?

Refresh your memory by reading

Raymond Voting Results
from March 2017.


Raymond Voting Results
from March 2016.


Raymond Voter Information Project

Box 813, Raymond NH 03077

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"He that loseth his honesty hath nothing else to lose."
~ John Lyly ~

"Any man, more right than  his neighbor, constitutes a majority of one." 
- Henry David Thoreau -