Grayslake District 46 held a public hearing Wednesday to present its proposed $49.1 million budget for fiscal year 2012-13, but the vote ended in a 3-3 tie.
Board members Sue Facklam, Ray Millington and Karen Weinert voted to approve the budget while Kip Evans, Shannon Smigielski and Keith Surroz voted against it.
Board member Michael Carbone was absent from the meeting.
The lack of a majority vote means the school board will need to hold a special meeting to take another vote before Sept. 30, which is the Illinois State Board of Education's deadline for school districts to adopt their budgets.
That meeting date has not been set.
Chief School Business Official Anna Kasprzyk gave the budget presentation at the hearing.
The district's $49.1 million proposed budget for 2012-13 reflects a $2.5 million decrease in operating fund expenditures and a $959,000 decrease in revenue over last fiscal year.
The budget also projects an overall deficit of more than $1.2 million, which board members are trying to figure out how to plug.
"We are not looking at a bright picture," said Kasprzyk.
Lake County Tea Party Chairman Lennie Jarratt criticized the board for not listening to community suggestions concerning finances and for recently voting to dismantle the district's advisory finance committee.
That decision, he said, "shows you're not interested in community input."
Board president Ray Millington said the decision to end the committee was not to limit community input, but because the school board was the best entity to address the financial problems.
"We know we have a tremendous hill to climb," he said.
Board member Shannon Smigielski called the decision a "slap in the face" to the residents who gave their time serving on the committee.
"When we have a deficit like we do, we should do everything we can to get input."
"Well it got voted down," said board member Keith Surroz. "They did a poor job. They didn't get anything done. We're better off without it. The majority of the board felt it did not contribute."
Surroz said it he felt it was better to have matters "out in the open rather than hide behind the finance committee."
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