The three-member board of the tiny Wainscott School voted unanimously last week to adopt a $3,458,857 budget for the 2013-14 school year. No members of the public were present.
The proposed budget includes a $45,603 decrease in spending from last year’s $3.5 million. The proposed tax levy is $2,706,957.
“We haven’t talked about the budget at all and we have to pass it tonight,” said David Eagan, a board member. “The rest of this agenda can be pushed aside. Let’s get to what we have to do.”
Although it was nominally an open meeting, requests that copies of the proposed budget be made available were repeatedly denied. New York State’s Open Meetings Law requires that documents being discussed be available to all members of the press and public.
The East Hampton Star sent a letter last Thursday morning to Stuart Rachlin, the Wainscott School superintendent, requesting a copy of the documents, but there has been no response. In the absence of such documents, the board’s discussion of the budget was nearly impossible to follow.
The school currently has 15 students in grades K to 3. The district employs two full-time teachers and one full-time teacher’s aide.
On May 21, the annual budget vote will take place at the school, between the hours of 2 and 8 p.m.