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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Ed Board Committee to Study Budget Blunder

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Board of Education tonight voted unanimously to establish a Health Insurance Fund Review Committee to determine the cause of a nearly $2 million current budget shortfall and to develop safeguards so it does not happen again.

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Board of Education Chair Elaine Whitney explains the workings of the committee as Vice Chair Jeannie Smith listens. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The insurance shortfall in the school system’s current $104 million budget, attributed to former Assistant Superintendent of Business Nancy Harris and discovered over the past several months by her replacement Elio Longo, has been a major blow to the school board with ramifications affecting next year’s budget.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon noted that his proposed 2014-15 operating budget to be presented to the school board on Friday has a 6.5 percent increase due to the blunder instead of what should have been a 4.3 percent jump.

The review committee will made up of three school board members, Paul Block, Karen Kleine, and Brett Aronow, who will serve as chairwoman, as well as Longo and a citizen volunteer to be chosen by Elaine Whitney, school board chairwoman.

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