Buckland voters ratify debt exclusion from 2018

  • Buckland Town Hall. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 5/5/2021 4:37:56 PM

BUCKLAND — Although there were no contested races on the ballot for the annual town election on Tuesday, voters ratified by ballot a debt exclusion approved at the 2018 Annual Town Meeting.

The election saw 158 voters cast their ballots out of a possible 1,385 registered voters for a 11.4 percent voter turnout, according to Town Clerk Karen Blom, who was elected in Tuesday’s election to serve a two-year term after temporarily assuming the role in February to replace former Town Clerk Elizabeth Cerone.

Town Administrator Heather Butler previously explained that in 2018, Annual Town Meeting voters approved an article to borrow $230,000 for improvements to the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School. The vote, however, was contingent upon passing a debt exclusion, which means the town could borrow the money but wouldn’t have to make annual payments within the restrictions of Proposition 2½.

Although the Town Meeting vote required ratification by ballot, “that step was overlooked,” Butler said.

The Department of Revenue informed the town that because it was a regional vote — the debt exclusion was intended for the Mohawk Trail Regional School District — and because the other towns had already ratified the same question, Buckland would not have to return to Town Meeting. Instead, the question could retroactively be ratified in Tuesday’s election.

Last year, Butler explained, instead of debt excluding the roughly $28,000 payment, the town moved some money around in the general budget to cover the annual payment. Had voters not approved the ballot question on Tuesday, the town would have had to find money within the general budget once again.

Overall, residents voted 114 in favor of ratifying the vote, compared to 30 votes against ratification.

Other results

The following residents, who ran unopposed, were elected:

■Moderator, one-year term — Phoebe Walker

■Selectboard, three-year term — Clinton Phillips

■Board of Assessors, three-year term — Elizabeth Cerone

■Buckland Public Library board of trustees, three-year term — Catherine Russillo

■Finance Committee, two seats with three-year terms — Bruce Lessels and John Roberts

■Finance Committee, one-year term — Dena Willmore

■Constable, three-year term — Floyd Scott

■Board of Health, three-year term — Dean Singer

■Board of Health, two-year term — Margaret Louise Hart

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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