Carson City school board moves budget hearing to April 7 |

Carson City school board moves budget hearing to April 7

By Jessica Garcia

The Carson City School District Board of Trustees is moving its April 14 meeting to April 7 to finalize its tentative budget and complete any changes before submitting it to the Nevada Department of Taxation by the April 15 deadline.

School board President Mike Walker and Superintendent Richard Stokes worked to find suitable options to keep the budget process going that would not interfere with the district’s calendar and with the governor’s Stay Home for Nevada orders due to the coronavirus, Walker announced during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Walker, Stokes and a few district staff members met at the school board’s usual meeting time and place at 7 p.m. in the Community Center with the other school board members calling in remotely and members of the public submitting questions the same way.

The previously scheduled April 14 meeting, which would have taken place during the district’s spring break, would have been the time for all district staff to provide input. Moving it back a week now provides relief to administrators, including Chief Financial Officer Andrew Feuling and his staff, to give adjustments on projected revenues and expenditures for fiscal year 2020-21 as required by the state while still allowing staff members time to speak on their concerns, Walker said.

The April 28 meeting also has been canceled.

“Obviously, to try to hold a meaningful meeting time during spring break was not desirable,” Stokes said.

In addition, that second April meeting would have been the time to honor the district’s certified and classified employees. By now, Stokes said, the district has selected its honorees but had not narrowed down candidates to just one individual employee of the year. It was suggested to honor all the employees who were nominated instead and to forego the April 28 meeting given the current conditions.

As for the budget discussions, Walker proposed using the two May board meetings, scheduled for May 12 and 26, to make final determinations on the FY20-21 budget and receive further public input before the budget is due. The most recent reports indicated the district is anticipating a $2.6 million shortfall, the district reported.

Feuling said updated numbers from the Department of Taxation are expected soon. Should revenue projections from the Local School Support Tax, the largest support tax, decrease, he said, the state is “effectively on the hook” to cover them.

Walker emphasized Carson City is unique in its size and location.

“If we needed to pull an emergency meeting within three days, we could do that quickly,” he said.

Meetings also would be done remotely, he answered board member Richard Varner, asking about availability and format, though Walker said the board has the ability to change this setup as needed.

The motion was passed unanimously 7-0, with most members phoning in their votes.