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temple / MAson

It’s a no for SB2 in two towns

Voters reject petition to adopt a school district meeting system

  • Candidates did a little last-minute campaigning at the polls in Temple on Tuesday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Kieth Hollenbeck casts his vote at the Temple polls after checking in with Deputy Town Clerk Jeanne Whitcomb.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Jennifer Martz of Temple speaks with Deputy Clerk Jeane Whitcomb and moderator Steve Cullinan before casting her ballots during polling Tuesday. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

Across the region, multiple petition articles to change the way towns and school districts vote on warrant articles failed to gather enough votes to make any changes.

Temple, Mason and the Mason School District were all facing the question of SB2 or Town Meeting on the ballot this year. Both towns currently vote at Town Meeting, and the Mason School District decides all warrant articles by ballot vote — and that’s the way it will stay, after voters had their say at the polls on Tuesday.

A petition article in the Mason School District, seeking to rescind SB2 and adopt a district meeting, failed to gain enough traction for even a majority vote, with 116 residents for the article and 194 against. To rescind SB2, or establish it, a three-fifths vote is required.

The vote was much closer in the town of Mason, where a petition article proposed adopting SB2. The article gained majority vote, with 177 yes votes and 139 no votes, and was only 13 votes shy of the 190 votes needed to gain a three-fifths majority.

Temple residents also voted no on a petition warrant that proposed adopting SB2. The majority of residents who came out to vote opposed the article, with 178 voting to implement SB2 and 213 in favor of maintaining Town Meeting.

Both Mason and Temple have faced the decision of Town Meeting or SB2 before. Temple Select Board Chair John Kieley said in an interview at the polls Tuesday that the question has been on the ballot at least nine times in Temple, but hasn’t ever come close to gaining the required votes to pass.

“A lot of people attend the ConVal Deliberative Session,” said Kieley of the SB2 system, “and a lot of people feel it’s not appropriate for Temple.”

In Mason, the issue has also been on the ballot several times in the past, with much closer results. In 2011, 255 voters voted yes for SB2, while 185 voted no, nine votes short of passing. In 2010, it fell only six votes short with 303 yeses and 211 nos, and in 2009, it failed by only two votes with 219 voting yes and 149 no.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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