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mascenic school district

Incumbents ousted; staff raises approved

Two first-time candidates for the Mascenic School Board have defeated the incumbents in both of the district’s towns.

Voters approved a district operating budget of$17,814,896 in a vote of 707 to 544.

Newcomer Richard Wallace won the Greenville representative seat by a wide margin, defeating incumbent Robert Turner with 177 votes to Turner’s 47. The race was considerably closer for the New Ipswich seat, with incumbent School Board Chair Chad Gibson losing out to his opponent, Jim Kingston, in a vote of 436 to 551.

“Obviously I’m thrilled,” said Kingston in an interview Wednesday morning. “I’m exited to have the opportunity to represent the town of New Ipswich on the School Board. Certainly it’s going to take a few weeks to settle in and understand the state of the district and the schools, but then I intend to stand by the issues I campaigned on: raising educational standards, respecting community and teachers and holding the line on fiscal responsibility.”

The voters also gave approval for a collective bargaining agreement between the School Board and the Mascenic Education Support Staff Association for increases in salaries and benefits for the district’s support staff, which includes teacher’s aides, paraprofessionals, custodial and administrative staff. The total amount of the estimated increases is $48,875 annually .

Gibson said at the polls on Tuesday that this article was a particularly important one for the district, as it had failed to pass for the last several years.

The towns also voted, 840-410, in favor of taking $50,000 from the year-end available fund balance to add to the capital reserve fund for special education. Also approved were $35,000 for the building maintenance capital reserve, with those funds also coming from the year-end fund balance.

Voters authorized the school district to retain up to 2.5 percent of the current fiscal year’s net assessment in a fund balance. The funds could be used to reduce the tax rate, or to offset unexpected emergencies faced by the district.

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

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