VINALHAVEN, Maine — Third time’s the charm for this island’s school budget. After budget proposals were rejected twice at the polls previously, the single-town school district finally got majority approval for a $3.5 million budget.
According to Kathy Warren, the school district’s business manager, the extra votes drawn in by Election Day helped. The two previous votes were held during special elections that did not draw as many residents. With only about 270 votes each time before, the no votes kept winning by a tiny margin. But on Tuesday night, the island saw about 400 residents vote.
The interesting thing, Warren said, is that the amount of no votes each time barely budged. The first time, the vote was 152 no to 131 yes. The second time, the vote was 143 no and 121 yes.
On Tuesday, the votes against stayed about the same at 144, while the residents in favor jumped to 275.
“We’re done,” Warren said, sounding jubilant on Tuesday night.
Until now, the school district has been allowed to operate off a budget passed at a town hall-style meeting. The district still was required to work on the budget until it got one validated at the polls as well, as required by Maine law.