School Budget Fails in St. Johnsbury

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st. johnsbury school budgetST. JOHNSBURY- Before polls opened in St. Johnsbury Tuesday morning residents got a chance to hear about the issues they'd be voting on. An informational meeting was held Monday night where residents were presented with the school budget totaling nearly sixteen million dollars.

St. Johnsbury Nancy Cohen shared why she is against this years school budget, "I don't really consider an eight hundred and ninety-one thousand dollar increase or thereabouts as modest. It makes it difficult for the people," Cohen said.

Some of the other issues that came up were changes to the school administration which would change from a co-principal format to one principal and two assistants. The school also wants to add another teacher in an effort to keep class sizes small.

The town municipal budget is set at almost eleven million dollars and Cohen doesn't agree with the numbers that were presented, "The town report lack stats, completely. There are no deaths, marriages, births reported. There are revenues shown but it doesn't show where they're coming from,"

After polls closed and results were tallied up the town budget got approved by a mere three votes with a total tally of seven hundred and eleven yes votes to seven hundred and eight no votes. While the town budget got approved the school budget was shot down.

The results showed that there were five hundred and forty-seven yes votes and eight hundred and thirty-four no votes. That is a difference of almost three hundred votes.

The town of St. Johnsbury also voted to implement a recall option which would allow the town to vote someone off of the selectboard if they feel that the member isn't doing what they should.

Selectman Kevin Oddy said that, "I believe that the people should have the opportunity, if they think I am doing a lousy job, they should have the opportunity to tell me that."

Selectman Tom Moore will be back to serve his second term, and was surprised with the number of write-ins this year, "There was a big campaign from a lot of people that wanted to get a write-in for selectboard for one year and they did very well."