Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, June 6, 2013
Ballot vote on Tuesday on DIS school budget, process
by Jessica Brophy
On Tuesday, June 11, polls will be open in Deer Isle and Stonington from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for voters to weigh in on whether to approve the school budget for 2013-14.
Residents approved a K-12 education budget totaling $6,796,786, a $184,307 or 2.79 percent increase over the current year’s budget at the annual budget meeting on Tuesday, May 28. This means a total local share for K-12 education will increase by $83,374, given an increase in expected state subsidy.
Those in attendance also approved $47,677 for the Adult Education budget.
Also coming before voters is a question of process and procedure. Currently, the school budget is approved first at a public meeting where townspeople vote on warrant articles. Then it is followed by ballot votes in both towns to approve the measure.
Voters this year will be asked three questions on the ballot. First, whether they approve the CSD school budget; second, whether they approve the adult education budget; and finally, whether they want to “continue to use the budget validation referendum process.”
That process refers to the two-step process of the budget meeting and ballot vote. Every three years, voters are asked if they would like to change the system to just the budget meeting, instead of holding the referendum vote as well.
Superintendent Mark Jenkins said it seems redundant to him to have the voters approve the same budget twice. “I’m not campaigning one way or the other, but it seems a shame to have the towns go through the expense of a ballot referendum on years when there is no June [primary],” he said.