Prop. 2-1/2 override on Ashfield election ballot

Saturday, May 7

  • Ashfield Town Hall. Recorder/Paul Franz PAUL FRANZ

Recorder Staff
Sunday, May 01, 2016

ASHFIELD — Townspeople vote Saturday, May 7, on whether to raise taxes by $120,000 to pay for town and school expenses, as they elect town officials for the year ahead.

The polls in Town Hall will be open from 10:15 a.m. until 6 p.m., while the annual town meeting takes place in the upstairs hall.

The $120,000 request is a Proposition 2½ tax levy limit override, which would add about 53 cents to the town’s tax rate of $16.44 per $1,000 valuation. This is the first Prop. 2½ override town officials have requested in at least 10 years. It represents a 3.3 percent tax hike. For the average home valued at $237,400, it would mean $127 annual increase.

A second ballot question asks voters to approve a levy-limit debt exclusion to help the town buy a new backhoe. A debt exclusion is a temporary tax hike that disappears after the item is paid off. In this case, town officials expect to borrow about $60,000 to be used along with available funds to pay for the backhoe.

The election ballot has no races and many incumbents. The following are running for three-year terms: Selectboard Thomas S. Carter; Assessor George Stephan; School Committee Helen “Poppy” Doyle; Board of Health Karen Lavallee; Constable Elizabeth Lesure; Park Commission Judith Haupt; and Sewer Commission Daniel Lovett.

Seeking election for two three-year terms on the Finance Committee are Edwin “Ted” Murray and Melinda Gougeon, and Carol J. Lebold is running unopposed for a one-year unexpired term on that board. Kenneth Miller is running for another a five-year term on the Planning Board and Esther A. Coler is running for a five-year term as a Library Trustee.

Moderator Stewart “Buz” Eisenberg is seeking re-election to another one-year term, and so is Tree Warden Thomas G. Poissant.  John LaBelle is also running for re-election for a one-year constable post.