Riverhead school super might soon be able to approve $25k budget transfers

The amount of money the Riverhead School District superintendent can approve in a budget transfer might soon increase from $2,000 to $25,000, after the school board adopted a first reading of a new policy at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

A previous draft of the policy would have allowed the superintendent to approve budget transfers of up to $1 million without board authorization. A majority of board members felt that number was too high and amended the policy and reduced that number to $100,000 prior to Tuesday’s meeting. However, board member Kathy Berezny thought $100,000 was still too high. She suggested it be further reduced to $25,000.

“We should be tightening our controls, not making them loose,” she said. “Jumping up to $25,000 seems to be a good number.”

The board voted 6-1 with board president Ann Cotten-Degrasse casting the sole dissenting vote, and adopted the amended reading, which reflected the $25,000 limit.

In other news, the board will now hold regular meetings twice a month. Previously, the board held a work session and a regular meeting every month. The change will allow the board to make administrative and business decisions during both meetings, which board members said will save time and allow business to move more quickly.

The board also officially appointed 52 community members, teachers and administrators to its Community Partnership for Revitalization team. The committee is still accepting new members. “We would welcome additional input,” Ms. Cotten-Degrasse said.

The group is seeking community input on a districtwide expansion project after voters rejected a $123 million proposal in February. The committee will present its findings to the board in September and the public is expected to vote on a revised proposal this spring.

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