Yarmouth voters OK 4% school budget increase

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YARMOUTH — Voters on Tuesday approved a $22 million school budget.

The budget, up 3.98 percent from the current year, passed 324-147. This will result in about $800,000 in additional property taxes, or a 4.56 percent increase.

Rising health-insurance costs account for a large portion of the budget increase. The School Department will see a 15 percent increase – almost $388,000 – because many staff members are switching to different levels of the plan.

Another large increase in the budget comes from salary increases of 2.5 percent, or almost $337,000. 

The budget was approved by councilors in May, after concerns in April about how savings were being used.

Elections for the Town Council, School Committee, and the Yarmouth Water District Board of Trustees were all uncontested.

Councilors James MacLeod and David Craig were re-elected to their second, three-year terms. MacLeod received 402 votes, and Craig received 383.

“I look forward to working alongside the town staff and enthusiastic members of our various citizen committees that play a vital role in shaping policy and enhancing livability of the town,” Craig said. “Yarmouth is entering an exciting era of economic activity and change. I will continue to be a voice for economic justice and environmental responsibility and a strong advocate for Yarmouth’s outstanding schools.”

Incumbent Tim Wheaton was re-elected to his fourth term on the School Committee, with 402 votes.

“I am excited to begin my fourth term on the Yarmouth School Committee,” Wheaton said. “It is an honor to be associated with the Yarmouth school community, a team of committed and talented people who do such important work.”

Wheaton, the committee’s finance committee chairman, said he was also happy to see the budget pass.

“Approving the school budget can never be taken for granted, so I was very pleased to see the budget approved,” he said. 

Newcomers Laura Coroi and Jeanne Rapone were also elected to the School Committee, each with 368 votes.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with great individuals in our school district,” Coroi said. “A common goal brings us all together, great schools for great students.”

Rapone said she looks forward to “working with the members of the School Committee and the School Department. I hope my contribution is positive and productive.”  

Thomas Brennon was elected to the Water District with 410 votes.

Voter turnout was 5.5 percent.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.