So that meeting didn't go like I thought it would. And my vote certainly didn't go like I thought it would.
Up until now, I've only chaired at two board meetings. One was simply to adopt policy and it lasted all of 13 minutes. Even though I've been on the board for three years now, I am relatively inexperienced at conducting meetings. However, the agenda for this meeting was straightforward with no surprises. One addition was made to allow the board an opportunity to discuss the budget before adopting it.
I had every intention of voting against the proposed budget. I've been very unhappy about the classroom layoffs while administration came through it all mostly intact. I knew I would be the minority but was okay with it because I had voted honestly.
Our budget discussion was thrown a big league curve ball when one board member stated he would vote no based on the lack of an art line item. I was completely stunned and unprepared for this scenario. Oregon school districts must, by law, approve a balanced budget by July 1 every year. Since we are now a board of four instead of the customary five, the vote was now a tie.
What a mess. What a complication. His no vote plus my no vote would cancel out the two yes votes, thereby putting an immediate halt to all district business. I had never once considered voting in favor of the budget and I do think a no vote because of layoffs trumps a no vote because of art supplies. But if I changed my vote, it would be a betrayal to the affected employees and families.
I changed my vote.
I extend my sincere apologies to all who supported me in my decision to vote no on the proposed budget and I hope you can understand and maybe even forgive me for my action. I am just sick about it. Not even cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles can fix this.