It's budget season again in Portsmouth. Our town charter states that I must submit a proposed budget of receipts and expenditures and an explanatory budget message to the Town Council for their consideration. The charter also instructs me as follows:
For such purpose the Town Administrator shall obtain from the head of each office, department and agency except the School Committee, estimates of its revenues and expenditures and such supporting data as he/she may request. In preparing the proposed budget, the Town Administrator shall review the estimates and may revise them as he/she may deem advisable.
The budget as proposed by the Town Administrator shall show all anticipated revenues and all proposed expenditures except those for school purposes, and the total of such expenditures shall not be greater than the total of anticipated revenue. The Town Administrator shall request from the School Committee its budget of estimated expenditures and revenues for transmission to the Council. He/She shall incorporate the total of these expenditures and revenues with the total he/she has arrived at for general Town purposes. He/She shall file one (1) copy of the recommended budget with the Town Clerk to be available for public inspection.
Our School Committee and school staff have been working for months and have approved and sent to me their budget request. It includes a request for new town funding in the amount of $30,476,891 or an increase from last year of 3.67%.
Their total budget proposal includes an increase of 1.57%, reflecting a cut in state aid. I will be including the school request in my overall budget package and will be making recommendations to the Town Council on a spending package for FY 2013.
I will be posting my Budget Message on the town's Web site and here at Patch for your comments, criticisms and/or recommendations and will continue to communicate as the budget goes through the lengthy hearings process.