Updated: Override vote to fund Mahar assessment set for Monday

  • Ralph C. Mahar Regional School in Orange. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 7/29/2020 1:19:58 PM

ORANGE — The Grzesik-Bixby Gymnasium at Ralph C. Mahar Regional School will be the site of a special election Monday, when residents will have their voices heard on a Proposition 2½ override.

Polls are scheduled to be open from noon to 7 p.m. A vote in the affirmative will provide funding for the roughly $4.6 million Ralph C. Mahar Regional School assessment as voted at Annual Town Meeting on June 15, whereas failure to approve the override will result in a reduction in the assessment.

Voters at Annual Town Meeting opted to increase Mahar’s budget by $339,722 but the vote must now be ratified. Finance Committee Chair Keith LaRiviere explained at the time that the recommended budget had “virtually no changes” from the current fiscal year and the state requires a balanced budget. But Patricia Smith, vice chair of the Mahar School Committee, said the presented figure would result in school layoffs.

On Tuesday, LaRiviere said he hopes the Proposition 2½ override passes because the $339,722 will have to be taken from other town departments if it does not.

Two-thirds of the school district’s towns — Orange, New Salem, Wendell and Petersham — must approve the district’s budget for it to be adopted. Wendell and Petersham approved it, while New Salem residents voted to reduce their town’s assessment by $123,680. Should Orange voters pass the override, however, three out of the four towns will have approved the budget, more than satisfying the two-thirds majority necessary for adoption.

Editor’s note: A prev

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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