Friday, November 3, 2006
Do rec plan ballot questions still matter?
A simple majority is required for the ballot questions, while a two-thirds majority was needed for the Town Meeting Articles.
Town counsel weighs in
Because this situation has not come up recently in Carlisle, McKenzie consulted Town Counsel, the office of Paul R. DeRensis. McKenzie was told, "The election will count. Based on further review, including consultation with bond counsel: Since the debt exclusion questions are in the statutory form and do not reference the specific articles at the recent Town Meeting under which the debt authorizations were defeated, the town can go forward with the ballot questions and if they pass, hold another Town Meeting to authorize the debt. In fact in its February 2002 publication entitled 'Proposition 2 1/2 Ballot Questions - Requirements and Procedures,' the Department of Revenue, Property Tax Bureau, specifically states that 'debt exclusion questions may be presented to and approved by the voters before or after the related debt is authorized or issued.'"
As of press time, town officials did not know whether positive votes on debt exclusion at Town Election would remain valid indefinitely, or if there is a time limit within which a Town Meeting must authorize the related spending. In any case, because the ballot questions include a project description, any ballot vote may not remain valid if the Banta-Davis project were substantially modified before being brought back before a future Town Meeting.
Town Clerk Charlene Hinton encouraged residents to go ahead and "vote your conscience" on the ballot questions on November 7, just in case.
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