Although the marquee item for a special June 6 vote in Morristown is its revised $9.4 million town budget, voters — in Stowe and Elmore as well — will attend to school district business at the polls.
Bigger boards? Redistribution of assets? These are the questions before voters in all three towns June 6.
Half and half
Residents in all three towns will vote June 6 whether to accept a withdrawal agreement jointly signed last month by the Stowe School Board and the Lamoille South Unified Union Board — now comprised of Elmore and Morristown.
Per the agreement, Stowe cedes any assets owned by those two towns and the Elmore-Morristown district will sell back any Stowe property it acquired as part of the merger for one dollar.
The two districts would then split 50/50 any shared assets, and Stowe would be released from any of the other two towns’ liabilities.
Superintendent Ryan Heraty said the towns find themselves in “a unique and fortunate situation” where the K-12 enrollment numbers in Stowe and in Elmore and Morristown are similar enough that a 50-50 split of the assets is warranted.
Morristown’s opening day K-12 enrollment was 825 students, plus an extra 17 kids in grades 1-3 at the one-room Elmore School. Stowe’s enrollment was 815 students.
Big ticket items like the campuses themselves aren’t part of the equation, since the school properties are publicly owned by the residents of each town.
“We don’t have to go through this extra layer of complexity,” Heraty said. “All our assets have been mixed, and to try and figure things out at the micro level would be really messy.”
Also on the school district ballots June 6 are proposals to either increase the size of the school board or elect new board representatives.
It won’t be a spoiler to reveal who will be the new Stowe board members, since there’s only one person running for each seat.
Ryan Bennett is running unopposed for a one-year term on the school board and Andrew Kohn is running unopposed for the two-year seat.
In Morristown and Elmore, the question before voters is whether to expand the two-town school board from four people to five. However, the board will likely remain only four-strong until next Town Meeting Day, the article notes.
Also, come July 1, the only entity known as Lamoille South will be the supervisory union, also like it used to be pre-merger.
Heraty said the two-town school district will go back to being called Elmore/Morristown Unified Union or, as most people refer to it, EMUU, like the large bird.
Go to the polls
Perhaps confusing the situation for Morristown voters is the town budget that is also up for a vote June 6. The $9.4 million proposal is one that shaved nearly $700,000 off the original sticker price roundly rejected on Town Meeting Day.
Ballots for the town budget were mailed out last week to every registered Morristown voter, but not the ballots for the two school district votes.
Town clerk Sara Haskins said voters must request a school district ballot be mailed to them if they want to vote absentee. Otherwise, it’s to the polls with them — Morristown’s June 6 polling location is the town office space in the Tegu building at 43 Portland St.
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