Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Aftermath

Sorry to keep talking about this, but I've become obsessed. Hey, it's winter, and there are worse obsessions.

At the polls yesterday, seven out of the nine towns in our proposed consolidated school district voted the plan down, most of them by overwhelming margins. As of this morning's Bangor Daily News, eight of 18 such proposals got voted down the same day.

Our little town voted 90-15 against. (Obviously, not an enthusiastic turn-out.) Blue Hill's vote was 353-46 against.(Voters probably were drawn out by a ballot proposal to add two selectman positions, also rejected.) Bucksport and surrounding towns voted in favor of their new district, but that's because it's almost the same as the old one, although with different legalities.

Turns out I was wrong about what happens next. As I understand it now, the citizen's petition to repeal the consolidation law first gets considered by the Legislature in this term. If they decide not to repeal it, the petition goes out for a statewide referendum in November.

Meanwhile, the towns that approved new districts have to set them up by the end of June. The way the law stands now, they do not have the option of withdrawing. We apparently continue the way we have been except that we get less special education subsidy (the only kind we get, because our shore front makes us look rich). And we'll have to cut somewhere else to make up those funds, because Special Ed can't be cut (and shouldn't be). If the repeal fails this winter and in November, I guess we'll probably vote ourselves a new district.

Rob reminded me this morning that the state's tally of "cost savings" from consolidation includes "not losing subsidy for noncompliance." When I tally up my successes for 2008, I plan to credit myself for "not burning the house down." That'll give me a morale boost.

Er...knock on wood.


Anonymous said...

If you already want to start compiling your list of successes for 2009 you may count pointing out Kate Atkinson's "Behind the scenes at the museum" to me. I enjoyed it very much!

Ellen Booraem said...

Oh yay, Ruth! I'm so glad you liked it. It's in my top ten for life at this point, I think. Definitely top twenty, anyway.