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Mason school warrant unchanged after deliberative session

MASON — A sparsely attended deliberative session on Saturday left the proposed warrant for the Mason School District untouched.

Less than 25 people were present for the reading of the warrant articles that will appear on the warrant when residents hit the polls in March. According to Moderator Catherine Schwenk in an interview Monday, very few of those present voiced any opinions, with the proposed articles being approved nearly unanimously by those in attendance.

The budget for the district was not adjusted at the meeting, remaining at $2,976,896, with a default budget $1,719 less than the proposed budget at $2,978,615.

While the School Board voted to amend the language of the budget article for grammar, the amount remained unaffected, said Schwenk.

Two other proposed articles for this year’s warrant did not generate any discussion from the crowd, said Schwenk. One would allow the Mason School Board to retain 2.5 percent of the fiscal year’s net assessment. The funds could be used to lower the tax rate or, after approval from the Department of Education, to pay for unanticipated emergency situations.

Another proposed article would add $10,000 to the district’s capital reserve fund for special education.

The only article which generated any discussion from the audience was brought by petition this year, said Schwenk. The article seeks to do away with the current system Mason operates under, which allows residents to vote on the district’s proposed warrant articles during ballot voting in March. Residents are given the opportunity to hear and propose amendments to the articles during the district’s deliberative session. The proposed warrant article would instead require voters to attend a district-wide meeting, where articles would be discussed, amended as necessary and then voted on. District Clerk Becky Partridge declined to disclose the name of the lead petitioner of the article, except to confirm it was a Mason resident.

One resident stood to speak in favor of retaining the current system, said Schwenk.

Voting on the proposed warrant articles, as well as to appoint two new members of the School Board and a district clerk, will be held on March 12 at the Mason Town Hall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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

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