CUMBERLAND — After official election returns confirmed a deadlocked vote in Tuesday’s School Administrative District 51 budget validation vote, school officials are working to schedule a second referendum.
Initial results late Tuesday night showed the votes tied, with Cumberland approving the budget by 45 votes and North Yarmouth rejecting it by the same margin. Cumberland Town Manager Bill Shane that a recount might be conducted.
But SAD 51 Finance Director Scott Poulin said Thursday that no formal request has been made for a recount. He said it would require an initiative by voters, rather than town or school officials, so SAD 51 is treating the budget as if it failed.
A second public budget hearing is expected to be set for June 10, with another referendum on June 16. Poulin said the second election couldn’t coincide with the municipal election already scheduled for June 9 because state law requires at least 10 days between the first election and the next budget hearing.
The first district budget hearing, which was held May 21, approved the school budget proposed by the School Board, sending a $28 million spending plan to voters on May 26.
Turnout at the hearing was very low, Poulin said, and it was again on Tuesday at the polls, where only about 10 percent of voters turned out in both communities. Cumberland voted 314-269 in favor of the budget; North Yarmouth voted 146-101 against it.
The School Board is scheduled to meet Monday, June 1, to discuss the budget and decide whether to send the same budget to voters a second time or to revise it further. A time for that meeting is expected to be posted on town and SAD 51 Web sites as soon as it’s scheduled.
Sarah Trent can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.