Residents Spur Recount of the Sewer Debt Shift Vote ... Sort of
Recount scheduled for Thursday night at Town Hall.
There will be a recount in the closest race on the April 2 Election ballot.
A referendum question, asking voters if they wanted to shift 50 percent of the town's $100 million _sewer debt to the tax levy passed by just 40 votes, 2198-2158_.
The recount will take place Thursday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. However, it should not take too long, as it will only involve one of the town's eight precincts.
"Precinct 3 is the only precinct that submitted a recount petition," said Town Clerk Denise Graffeo. "The petition was then examined and certified by the Board of Registrars. Only Precinct 3 is being recounted."
The question had passed 371-266 in Precinct 3 -- the widest margin in any precinct.
In order to force a recount in a precinct, 10 signatures of registered voters living in that precinct need to be gathered on a recount petition. In this case, the recount push was led by Deberah Donohue, of Dike Court.
The same procedure would need to be followed in each precinct in order to force a town-wide recount.
If enacted, _the sewer debt shift will lower sewer rates and will increase property taxes. Supporters of the measure feel the shift will more fairly spread the cost of the project that resulted in sewer lines being laid on 100 percent of the town's streets. _But opponents, mostly _residents not connected to the sewer line, feel they should not have to bear the cost of a service they don't use._
Even if the recount does not change the outcome of the vote, the measure has still has an obstacle to overcome. On Day 2 of the Annual Town Meeting, May 4, voters will be asked to give permission for the town to request a Home Rule Petition be passed by the Legislature. The Home Rule Petition is needed because the law requires that either 100 percent of debt or a specific dollar figure be shift. The wording of the law presently does not allow for a percentage shift.
Graffeo said there will be an expense to the town with the recount but she is not sure of the exact figure.