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Voters approve $6.5 million budget for Leland & Gray

Townshend rejects spending plan, but other four towns in district support it

TOWNSHEND—With Townshend the only Windham Central Supervisory Union town out of five that voted against it, the fiscal 2013 Leland & Gray school budget passed 172 to 109.

The $6.5 million budget approved by voters on Feb. 15 represents a 3.5 increase over last year’s.

Townshend, with 893 registered voters, cast 59 votes — 23 yes and 36 no.

The other four towns in the district voted for the budget, albeit in low numbers. Turnout increased only slightly over last February, when there was a fierce snowstorm on Election Day.

Brookline, with registered voter totals of 358, cast 45 votes — 25 yes and 20 no.

Jamaica, with 628 registered voters, cast 41 votes — 29 yes and 12 no.

Newfane, the largest town in the district with 1,324 registered voters, cast 106 votes — 72 yes and 34 no. Town Clerk Gloria Cristelli said that 37 of the 106 votes cast were from early voting and absentee ballots.

Windham, with 316 registered voters, cast 30 votes — 23 yes and 7 no.

Leland & Gray School Board Chair Emily Long pointed out that for the past two years, the school budget has been level funded. She said special education funds were responsible for most of the increase, as well as some restoration of music and language programs cut last year.

WCSU superintendent Steven John noted there were more committee members than members of the public at the pre-election information meeting, adding that there was also a low turnout at the annual meeting.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #140 (Wednesday, February 22, 2012).

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