Claremont OKs School Budget
Joe McElreavy, center, standing with his wife Christine McElreavy, left, and Richard Barrette, receives his ballot from ballot clerk Midge Fowler, left, during the annual school district vote at Disnard Elementary School in Claremont, N.H., on March 11, 2014. The vote featured three contested races for School Board seats and a $34 million budget. (Valley News - Will Parson) Purchase photo reprints »
Students in teacher Jill Chastenay's Honors Civics class at Stevens High School, including, from right, Keystin Tricou, 16, and Cassidy Kelly, 14, stand in front of the polling location at Claremont Middle School while advocating their positions on the budget being considered in the annual school district vote in Claremont, N.H., on March 11, 2014. "We do this every semester," said Chastenay, who has the students research the issues on the ballot and form their own opinions as part of a class project. (Valley News - Will Parson) Purchase photo reprints »
Deb Dombroski, center, gets some knitting done while working the polling location at Claremont Middle School with Brian Bogle, left, and Paula Beinard, during the annual school district vote in Claremont, N.H., on March 11, 2014. (Valley News - Will Parson) Purchase photo reprints »
Claremont — Incumbent School Board member Heather Irish was soundly defeated in her re-election bid by Richard Madigan, 528-431, and Becky Ferland and Robert Picard won three-year seats on the board in school district voting on Tuesday.
Ferland, a retired Stevens High School teacher, and Picard, an incumbent appointed in January, beat out Thomas Brothers and Patrick Adrian.
Voters easily approved the $34 million school budget, but rejected a $204,000 article for technology upgrades.
Also defeated was an article for a tax cap. The measure was on the warrant by petition and fell short of the required 60 percent threshold by 55 votes, 524-441.
If it had been approved, the tax cap would have required the School Board to present a budget next year with no increase in the amount to be raised by taxes
The budget, which carries an estimated property tax rate increase of $1.26 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, includes approval of a three-year contract for teachers. Also part of the budget is a one-year contract for administrators. The estimated tax rate for next year is $21.09.
Madigan will serve the final year of a three-year term for a seat that was originally held by Gene Grumman, who resigned in November amid allegations he made inappropriate comments to a girls soccer team he was coaching.
The board chose Picard to fill Grumman’s seat, but he decided to run for the three-year seat, rather than the one year remaining on Grumman’s term.
Turnout citywide was almost 16 percent, or 1,044 of the town’s 6,575 registered voters.
Richard Madigan defetaed incumbent Claremont School Board member Heather Irish, 528-431, in Tuesday's voting and a petition article for a tax cap on school spending fell short of the required 60 percent threshold by 55 votes, 524-441. The tallies in the Claremont school votes were incorrectly reported in an earlier version of this story.