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LOCKPORT BOARD REJECTS SCHOOL BUDGET ADMINISTRATORS DEFEND FIFTH DRAFT OF SPENDING PLAN

The Lockport School Board Monday balked at adopting a $36 million budget for 1990-91, effectively scuttling any remaining business scheduled at the meeting since it involved textbooks for next year and personnel matters.

The proposed $36,265,929 spending plan has been pared $64,428 by administrators since last Monday's public hearing, and is now in its fifth draft.

Four of the eight trustees present immediately voted against the budget, ending the voting because five votes are needed to adopt a budget.

Superintendent Kevin J. Colpoys reminded the board that, by law, a 1990-91 budget must be adopted by Saturday. He defended the budget process, noting that $450,000 had been pared earlier.

"We made changes where we felt it was possible. We believe this is a responsible budget," he said. He added that the latest $64,000 in cuts represented only 0.2 percent. The budget, in its current form, is 8.7 percent higher than the current one.

After prolonged haggling about a time to meet, the board decided to go over the budget proposal at 8 p.m. Wednesday and to hold a public session and vote at 9 p.m.

Board President Donald Cescon said he cannot attend because of other commitments.

Trustee W. Keith McNall said he believes the increase is too much and thinks costs will double by next year, while Trustee Kevin O'Rielly called for a return to the Finance Committee plan for budget development.

He said there was a lack of information about staff obligations and called the budget "a shell game" with the administration "hiding expenses while we all try to find them."

Trustee Rosemary Pichey said she agreed with O'Rielly and commented later that the board did not receive the revised budget until Thursday.

Trustee Mary Albright said she would like to see line-by-line budget changes.

Richard A. Hitzges, director of finance and management services, earlier listed the administration's reductions. He said later that the revisions would not cut programs or personnel.

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