2018 Leicester town meeting preview

LEICESTER — Voters at Leicester’s annual town meeting next week will consider a proposed $638,224 municipal budget, and a $40,000 paving question.
The municipal budget would include general fund spending of $281,274, which represents a decrease of $1,682, or a half a percent from last year. It would also include $356,950 in highway spending — $10,615, or 3 percent, more than last year.
All together, municipal spending would require raising $472,617 in taxes from Leicester property owners. That is $1,975, or four-tenths of a percent, higher than the tax bill for the current year.
There are no challengers for any Leicester town seats, and all the incumbents are running for re-election. Those on the ballot are Richard Reed, moderator one-year term; Brad Lawes, selectboard, three-year term; Ronald Fiske, selectboard, two-year term; Deb Miner, auditor, three-year term; Beth Swinington Ripley, delinquent tax collector, one-year term; Mike Rakowitz, grand juror, one-year; Rakowitz, town agent, one-year term.
Leicester town meeting will be held on Monday, March 5, at 7 p.m. in the Leicester Meeting House to vote on financial items.
Polls will be open on Tuesday, March 6, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Leicester Town Office to vote on town candidates by Australian ballot.
Also at the polls, Leicester residents will vote on the budget for Otter Valley Unified Union School District, which includes the towns of Leicester, Brandon, Goshen, Pittsford, Sudbury and Whiting. Voters will be asked to approve $19,223,835 OVUUSD spending plan, which represents a roughly $550,000 cut in spending, or 1.22 percent, from the current budget.
The proposed budget calls for Whiting Elementary School to become a preschool center. Sudbury and Leicester schools will split kindergarten through third grade at one school and grades four to six at the other, although a decision has not been made about which will host which grades.
Leicester is also casting ballots on a representative to the OVUUS board. Leicester doesn’t have a seat on the board up for election this year, but local voters can also vote for a three-year at-large seat on the board; current occupant Greg Bernhardt — a Leicester resident — is the only name on the ballot.

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