Letter: Further look at ConVal numbers

To the editor:

Here are some revealing numbers:

Total number voting in the ConVal district: 4,441.

Registered voters in Antrim: 1,878; Registered voters in Peterborough: 4,743.

Total votes in Antrim: 865; Total votes in Peterborough: 1,104.

Budget: No votes in Antrim: 345; No votes in Peterborough: 389.

Great Brook closing: No votes in Antrim: 808; No votes in Peterborough 581.

Antrim voters are to be congratulated on their awesome campaign to get out the vote. This was truly democracy in action.

The comparison with Peterborough says it all. Antrim, with less than half the Peterborough registered voters, voted more than 800 ‘No’ votes to consolidate schools while Peterborough voted 581 ‘No’ votes.

The results are regrettable: There will not be any savings of $1.5 million from consolidation; continued enrollment drops will feed the huge losses both the Antrim elementary and Great Brook have experienced to date; and small, ineffective elementary classes through out the entire district will continue.

For some reason the town of Antrim has been losing registered voters ( 2008: 2,058 registered voters; in 2013: 1,878), as well as hundreds of middle school, elementary and high school students.

If Nesdec’s future predictions continue to remain reliable, in a matter of a few years the district will lose another 100 to 200 students. Our gross cost per student has now escalated from $10,000 to $19,000 (unbelievable).

Defeating consolidation at the polls after two surveys recommended it (2,200 voted ‘Yes’) previously, will really aggravate the situation. That coupled with dramatic reductions in state funding will make this successful campaign by Antrim taxpayers a sorry day for the other 12,000 registered Conval District voters.

Peterborough has a personal problem. No question, Peterborough, whose share of the budget is now over 36 percent (and it will escalate dramatically in 2014-2015) cannot continue to subsidize Antrim’s personal needs.

Peterborough is left no choice and must consider some drastic move(s), including leaving the district.

Fran Chapman


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