, Salem, MA

June 17, 2014

Letter: Voters have spoken on Ipswich override

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Recently, The Salem News reported that another budget override is being planned by the Ipswich School Department (“Override supporters ponder next step,” June 5). In his remarks at the election postmortem, the superintendent said that comments at Town Meeting by state Rep. Brad Hill inadvertently doomed the $2.75 million measure to failure at the polls.

Don’t believe it.

When I cast my ballot on May 20, a friend told me the override was certain to pass because the administration and citizen group advocating passage had worked very hard to get out the “yes” vote. It didn’t work out that way. Their efforts failed to produce a winner. The measure lost by 60 votes. Unfortunately, only about 40 percent of those registered bothered to turn out. The total “yes” vote was 2,069, just a few more than the entire student body of the schools. Taxpayers are concerned about how their dollars are being managed. Evidently the majority want reduced spending, greater efficiency, fewer teachers and available courses, along with slightly larger class sizes. Budget increases have come every year, but there have never been sufficient funds to satisfy the schools. The voters have said, “Enough is enough.” We don’t need to mull or propose another override vote now. Maybe an operational audit is needed?

John Meers