Brunswick voters approve school budget

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BRUNSWICK — The School Department’s proposed fiscal year 2017 budget passed by more than a 2-1 margin Tuesday.

The $37.7 million budget, a 3.2 percent increase over this year’s spending, was approved 917-400 in the annual budget validation referendum.

Voters also decided to continue the referendum process for another three years, 930-380.

The Town Council and School Board tussled in the final weeks before the referendum over $85,000 earmarked for a high school paving project. Board members Rich Ellis and Corinne Perreault said they would oppose the school budget if the council did not keep the funds in the budget.

In the end, the council voted to adopt the school budget as recommended.

The full municipal, school, and county budget is $61.5 million, a 3.15 percent increase over this year. It will result in a 3.5 percent increase in the property tax rate.

“Once again, I’m pleased the citizens of Brunswick support the school budget,” Ellis said after the vote.

Primaries

Everett “Brownie” Carson of Harpswell won the Democratic nomination in state Senate District 24 in an uncontested primary.

Eric Lusk, of Harpswell, will oppose Carson, after winning an uncontested Republican primary.

Incumbent state Reps. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, Ralph Tucker, D-Brunswick, and Jay McCreight, D-Harpswell, won their party’s nominations in House Districts 49, 50, and 51, respectively. They all ran in uncontested primaries.

Michael Stevens of Brunswick, Robert Thompson of Brunswick, and Jeffrey Slocum of Harpswell will challenge Daughtry, Tucker, and McCreight, respectively, after winning uncontested Republican nominations.

Town Clerk Fran Smith said less than 8 percent of registered voters turned out.

Walter Wuthmann can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or wwuthmann@theforecaster.net. Follow Walter on Twitter: @wwuthmann.

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Brunswick/Harpswell reporter for The Forecaster. Bowdoin College grad, San Francisco Bay Area native. Follow for municipal, school, community, and environmental news from the Midcoast.
  • Chew H Bird

    Less than 8% of the voters turned out because Brunswick does virtually nothing to encourage voter participation. If not for the three “vote here” signs the turnout would probably be much less. Brunswick seems determined to hold an under the radar election every June. Perhaps a few more signs might be helpful or how about a postcard in the mail? I guess that costs money but so does holding an election where the vast majority of voters don’t vote…

  • farmertom2

    Thanks to the more than 1300 Brunswick residents who voted in the school budget referendum! I wonder though if it might be possible to shift the calendar around so the voting takes place with some other election– the general in November? Primaries earlier in the spring? It would save some effort and would be naturally more participatory. alternatively, going to a completely mail-in or electronic system could do the same increase voter participation while mitigating the admittedly modest cost.