Friday, June 11, 2004
Concord passes two high school overrides Matches Carlisle budget for CCHS
On Tuesday June 8, Concord voters passed two budget overrides for Concord-Carlisle High School in Town Elections. By doing so, they matched already approved levels in Carlisle, avoiding a protracted process for reconciling the regional high school budget. A debt exclusion for high school renovations, which had also passed in Carlisle, was approved as well. Articles for these expenditures were previously approved at Concord's Town Meeting in April.
The high school overrides were presented to Concord voters as two levels under Questions 3A and 3B. Passage of both questions was required to match the level approved at Carlisle Town Elections May 25. Though there had been fear that presenting two levels would encourage voters to choose the lower, the higher level passed easily, with 66% of the vote.
The final high school budget of $16,844,079 is a $287,553 increase over the levy-limit budget. Without the override, teaching, co-curricular, and athletic budgets would have been reduced.
Under state law, "override" approval at Town Meeting and Town Elections is necessary to increase property taxes above a 2-1/2% "levy limit." The regional agreement requires Concord and Carlisle to approve the same level of budget according to student ratios.
Two years ago, Carlisle passed a lower high school budget than Concord's and a second Carlisle Town Meeting was required to arrive at agreement. Committees in the two towns had recommended different budget levels to their voters, and this may have contributed to the incompatible outcome. This year the Regional School Committee and Selectmen and FinComs of both towns agreed to recommend the same override level, and this is the level that passed easily in both towns.
High school to get renovations
Concord's Question 5 provided authorization for the Regional School Committee to raise $535,000 for immediate needed improvements at CCHS, authorization that had already been obtained in Carlisle. This question also passed with 66% of the Concord vote. Portable language lab equipment, flooring and lighting in the lower gym, and locker repair will be undertaken. All will be retained under any future plans for more extensive high school renovations.
© 2004 The