BOE budget passes at second referendum

Dee Brennan casts her decision about the school budget at the Plainville firehouse last Tuesday during the town’s second budget referendum. Residents approved the revised Board of Education budget of $38,229,105. The vote passed, 863-369. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The revised Plainville Board of Education budget passed the second referendum, held on May 14 at the Plainville firehouse. Residents overwhelmingly approved the $38,229,105 school budget.

About 11 percent of the 11,578 registered Plainville voters participated in the second round of voting, compared to 5.5 percent voter turnout for the first referendum. In the second round of voting, the budget passed, 863-369. Of those who cast their ballots, 260 voters responded to the advisory question, saying the budget was too high with 286 saying that it was too low.

BOE vice chair Nicole Palmieri explained after the first referendum, that the board and administration was tasked with reducing the budget total by $100,000.

In a finance subcommittee meeting, it was decided that items such as middle school spring sports, a special education assistant, and a couple tutors would not be included in the budget. She said that in order to save some money, a new assistant superintendent wouldn’t be hired until the fall. Palmieri said that a special education teacher would be hired.

Residents flocked to the fire department in order to cast their ballots, such as Mark Ratliff, who said that while education may be expensive, ignorance is a lot more expensive, and that he didn’t want to see the education budget be cut further.

Val Dumais said that he was very disappointed to know that the budget had failed during the first referendum. “I’ve always been a supporter of the school budget and education,” he said. “I raised two kids, I have five granddaughters, and I want to make sure everybody gets their best education.”

Pamela Pires, a teacher at Plainville Middle School, checks in at the Plainville firehouse last Tuesday to vote on the school budget. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

Similarly, Bonnie Carilli said that she felt “it is very important for the children in this town to be educated, and to have the best that is available to them.”

At the first referendum, held on April 30, the BOE budget was proposed at $38,329,105. At that amount, the budget failed to garner enough votes, with 372 residents voting in favor and 384 voting against. At the time, 371 voters said the budget was too high, and only 16 voters said it was too low.

At that same referendum, the general town budget was passed in the amount of $23,551,717. The general government budget passed with 409 voting in favor.

The budgets will go into effect on June 1.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.

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