Woonsocket School Committee Votes First Passage Of $69.8 Million Budget

All four members present approve document, second passage to be scheduled.


The Woonsocket School Committee voted for first passage of their draft budget totalling $69,850,000 tonight.

School Committee Chair Anita Forcier-McGuire was not present because she and Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan are attending a conference. The remaining members unanimously voted for first passage.

The next step in the process, said Committee member Chris Roberts, is second passage, which could happen as early as Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. That vote will be strictly pass/fail, he said. Any needed changes discovered now will be included as an amendment.

"What we had last year was unrealistic," Committee Vice Chair Vimala Phongsavanh said. Earlier Wednesday, City Finance Director Thomas Bruce echoed her assessment. He said the current budget is a much closer estimate of the true cost to operate the school department than the one the city's been working with so far. Last year's budget was set at $59 million.

Phongsavanh commended her fellow Committee members for their hard work over the last few weeks to comb through the budget line by line. She also praised department leaders. "The directors did work very hard on getting us accurate numbers," Phongsavanh said.

Frankie May 24, 2012 at 09:59 AM
So, the department is broke, and there is no money to pay bills but the city can afford to send the chair and superintendent to a conference? Of course, it is possible that they paid for it out of their own pockets, but how many people actually go to a conference and pay for it themselves?
RBeau May 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM
You're Kidding me right "Frankie"...!!! I was wondering where they were at such a critical time .. This superintendent is out of her friggin mind. We're bouncing checks to vendors and crawling to the city to bail us out of bouncing paychecks and the ever arrogant Donoyan is away at a conference !! Certainly at our expense !! Whatever happened to the "we put a freeze on all unnecessary spending" ?? Anyone know where they are ?? I at least hope its somewhere nearby that they didnt actually pay for airfare ! Disgusting!
Frankie May 24, 2012 at 04:31 PM
You are right RBeau, this is a very critical time....the budget is still not finalized, they are scrambling to pay vendors, the supplemental tax is going before the house, they borrowed from the city last week to pay the teachers' salaries, etc. They should be here dealing with all of this.
John May 24, 2012 at 08:19 PM
The conference and traveling expenses were paid for with Federal Dollars. The Commissioner attended, as well as, the Superintendent and Chair from each of the Cities and Towns.
Russell Archambault May 24, 2012 at 08:30 PM
john; what in gods name was that conference for. lets keep up with the jones'es. In this time of importance, it just doesn't look good to us citizens. Don't care who paid for it. Hope they had a good time and got to laugh at us taxpayers. They have a total lack of respect for us.
John May 24, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I should also mention the conference was only a day and a half.
Linda May 24, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Regardless of who paid for it, where it is or for how long, this Superintendent is submitting her first budget at a time when we are on the brink of receivership and she thinks it more important to be out of town. This is an insult and yet another slap in the face to the tax payers from this woman.
Russell Archambault May 24, 2012 at 10:09 PM
TO ALL; I still cant over this conference. somebody needs to show mr how wrong I am about being so angry about this. 70 million budget and these two are on vacation somewhere. total insult to the taxpayers.Anita Forcier-McGuire you madame are a total disgrace. there is no conference in the world that is relevant to you ! you can fool some people but you cant fool me. the only way I would back off from you , if the entire school committee supported you ! you need to fully explain to the taxpayers what purpose this conference was important to you. can you do it with a straight face ?
DonQ May 24, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Vimala, Are you by any chance a very wealthy person? As a member of the School Committee it seems like all you know is spend, spend, spend! You obviously don't care that there are going to be people who will be going without food and/or life saving medications because of your desire to steal money from the taxpayers. You obviously don't care that there are going to be people who will loose their homes because of your desire to steal money from the taxpayers. Do all of us in Woonsocket that have to pay the bills tow favors. One - don't ever run for office in this city again. Two - get out of this city. You have destroyed too many lives because of your spend, spend, spend attitude.
DonQ May 24, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Forcier-McGuire and Donoyan wanted to waste taxpayer money so they can get ideas on how to pad the WED budget even more next time around. They are trying to figure out how many more lives they can destroy in this city.


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