Rutland voters reject override for schools; Wachusett budget remains in limbo Wachusett Regional High School. T&G File Photo
By Sandy Meindersma
16, 2015 at 9:50 PM
Updated Sep 16, 2015 at 11:27 PM
RUTLAND – The Wachusett Regional School District continues to operate without a budget after a $390,000 override ballot vote failed, 781-697, Wednesday.
The vote failed in Precincts 1 and 3, 249-216 and 281-212, respectively; in Precinct 2, the vote was tied at 251-251. The 1,460 voters represented more than 25 percent of the registered voters in town.
A larger override vote, in the amount of $439,000, failed as part of the annual town election in May.
Had the override been approved, the school district would have had four towns that had approved its
$83.3 million budget, and would no longer be required to limit its monthly expenditures to one-twelfth of last year s $81 million budget.
Holden, Princeton and Sterling all passed the budget at their annual town meetings, while Paxton and Rutland both approved amounts lower than requested by the school district.
School Superintendent Darryll McCall was disappointed with the election results Wednesday.
While I am very disappointed that the override failed in Rutland, I am encouraged by the fact that so many people turned out to vote to let the community know that they support education within our District, Mr. McCall said.
The Wachusett Regional School Committee is meeting Thursday night to discuss the district s next steps.
Committee Chairman Lance Harris said that while he was disappointed with the results, the school district is prepared to move forward.
We had hoped that parents who came out to the town meeting would be able to motivate others to vote, he said. We were given an extension on our budget until Friday to allow the people of Rutland to vote on the budget.
One way or another, we will have a budget tomorrow night, Mr. Harris said on Wednesday evening. We will be voting on the number that Rutland has approved, which will mean a $1.7 million cut.
If the committee does not approve that number, we have other options to consider.