School District Prepares for Deliberative Session on Feb. 8 

Derry residents who are registered voters in Derry, NH should attend the annual meeting sessions for school district issues. The first session is for voters who want to understand the tax rates and goals of the school district. The meeting will take place at the West Running Brook Middle School, 1 West Running Brook Lane, Derry NH on Saturday Feb. 8, 2020 at 10 a.m. This first session of the annual voting process will be supported by District Moderator, Kevin Gordon.

This forum, the Derry Cooperative School District’s Deliberative Session,  will consist of an explanation, discussion, and debate of the warrant articles numbers 2 through 4 that have been set for voter consideration this year. The articles of the 2020 warrant may be amended subject to the following limitations:  (a) warrant articles whose wording is prescribed by law shall not be amended; (b) warrant articles that are amended shall be placed on the official ballot for a final vote on the main motion, as amended, and (c) no warrant article shall be amended to eliminate the subject matter of the article. 

The primary discussion for this session will likely be focused on specifics related to the coming year’s fiscal budget numbers in context of the goals set forward by the district within those operating budget numbers.

Specifically, School District officials, the School Budget team, the Superintendent of Schools and the School Board will overview why voters should support Article 2 of the 2020 Warrant for the School District to raise and appropriate $92,078,198.01 as an operating budget; this number does not include appropriations by special warrant articles and other appropriations that will be voted upon separately. 

This first session deliberative discussion supports an environment for residents to interact and provide feedback regarding the numbers set forth within the budget as posted with the warrant or as amended by vote in the first session, for the purposes set forth within the budget details.  

Should this budget article 2 be defeated, the 2020-2021 operating budget shall  be $89,514,933.87, which is the same as last year’s budget with certain adjustments required by previous action of the School District or by law. 

The governing body may hold one special meeting, in accordance with RSA 40:13, X, and XVI, to take up the issue of a revised operating budget only. Passage of Article 2 is recommended by the Derry School Board.

At the deliberative, another article – Article 3 – will be overviewed for voter feedback. This article is regarding approval of the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Derry School Board and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 1445 that calls for the following changes in salaries and benefits at current staffing levels over those paid in the prior fiscal year:

Estimated Increase from the past year

2020-2021 – $28,225

2021-2022 -$28,225

Passage of Article 3 will support the district’s ability to raise and appropriate the sum of $28,225 for the upcoming fiscal year (2020-2021) as such sum would represent the additional costs attributable to the changes in salaries and benefits required by the new agreement over what would be paid at the current staffing levels. Passage of this article is recommended by the Derry School Board.

In addition, voters will also consider that If Article 3 is defeated, there will also be voting on Article 4 to authorize the governing body to call one special meeting, at its option, to address Article 3 cost items only.  And support for this special meeting is also recommended by the Derry School Board.

The second session of the Annual Meeting is the actual voting process. Voting on 4 warrant articles will be conducted by official ballot to be held in conjunction with Town voting on March 10, 2020. Polls will be open from 7a.m. – 8 p.m. – Districts 1 and 4 at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, District 2 at Calvary Bible Church, and District 3 at West Running Brook Middle School.

Article 1 is for voters to choose School District officers and this year that will be for 2 School Board Members at large – each for a 3-year term.