Brunswick school budget vote adds advisory question

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BRUNSWICK — Voters will be asked to approve a $38.1 million school budget in the annual validation referendum June 12.

For the first time, they will also have the opportunity to indicate how they feel about it.

In addition to a question asking if voters approve the school budget passed by the Town Council May 14, the ballot will also feature a new non-binding advisory question.

The question allows voters to expres whether they think the proposed budget is “too high,” “acceptable,” or “too low.” Although non-binding, the results would inform officials’ discussion if voters reject the spending plan and a revised proposal is needed for a second validation referendum.

The $38.1 million budget is nearly $254,000, or about two-thirds of 1 percent, more than current spending.

The council-approved budget is also $520,000 less than the $38.6 million spending plan recommended May 9 by the School Board. It includes funding for regular instruction, special education, student and staff support, debt service and other commitments.

The total budget for fiscal year 2019 will require a 2.99 percent tax hike, which would make the tax rate $18.92 per $1,000 of assessed property value, or an additional 55 cents over this year.

Voting will take place at Brunswick Junior High School, 65 Columbia Ave., from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Absentee ballots are also now available.

Voters can call the Town Office to have an absentee ballot mailed to their residence, or an immediate family member can pick the ballot up at town hall.

The final day to pick up ballots in person is June 7, and town staff will be in the office until 7 p.m. that evening.

Information about absentee ballots and town hall hours are also available on the town website. 

Elizabeth Clemente can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @epclemente.