Letter: Financial Implications

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To the Finance Committee, Select Board, School Committee, Library Board of Trustees, Town Meeting Members, and Reading taxpayers.

A report in the November 9, 2020, Town Meeting Warrant by the ad-hoc on human rights has proposed that at the Annual Town Meeting of 2021 they will recommend that a Reading Alliance for Equity and Social Justice be established with a full-time paid director under the Library.

Regardless of how you may feel, I feel that you should understand the financial implications. It is suggested that the salary be paid from accommodated monies and not from the Library budget

For those not familiar with accommodated funds, they are those things that are common to both the Town and Schools, such as insurance, retirement, special, and vocation education. When this is done, the remaining funds are generally split 60% to Schools and 40% to the Town.

If the salary for the director is $70,000 a year and if it is under the accommodated budget using a benefit of 25%, this adds $17,500 for a total of $87,500; using the 60/40 split, this will be $52,500 less for the school and $35,000 less for the Town. If it is in the Library budget, State law requires that 15 % must be spent on books and materials this $ 10,500 for a total of $98,000 and cost the Schools $58,800 and the Town $39,200.

If the salary is $80,000, those figures change to $100,000, the school side would be $60,000, and the Town side $40,000, and because of the 15% requirement adds $12,000 for a total of$ 112,000 and will cost the School $67,200 and the Town$ 44,800.

The pie is only so big and if you take a slice for another position at the table everybody has less pie. Something to think about.

William C. Brown
28 Martin Road

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