News Spotlight

School budget vote recount to take place July 15; details announced

The public recount of the MSAD 15 budget referendum vote will take place on Monday, July 15, starting at 8 a.m. in a Gray Library meeting room, the District has announced.

In the June 11 election, voters approved the MSAD 15 budget by a margin of nine votes out of more than 2,200 cast.  231 residents subsequently petitioned successfully for a formal recount. 

The recount plan, developed in consultation with both towns’ managers and clerks, will follow a process similar to that used for candidate race recounts.

Eight ballot counters, four from each town, will be paired in teams of one recount petition-signer and one non-signer. The teams will count ballots in batches of 50, assisted by election officials from both towns.

The recount will be supervised by the two town clerks, Town Manager/Clerk Bill Kerbin for New Gloucester and Britt Barton for Gray.  Read the full recount plan at this link.

The recount is estimated to take between three and four hours, Superintendent Craig King says. Space will be set aside for members of the public to observe the proceedings.

The $33 million MSAD 15 budget now going to a recount was approved by the School Board on a 10-1 vote in April. The budget was then approved by voters from New Gloucester and Gray at a District’s town hall/budget validation vote in May. The third step in the annual budget process is the referendum ballot vote in June.

Tabulation of ballots from the June 11 vote saw New Gloucester voters approve the school budget 482 to 443, a margin of 39 votes in favor, along with 13 blanks; Gray voters rejected the school budget by 30 votes, 637 in favor and 667 opposed, with a count of 18 blanks.

Gray-New Gloucester is not the only school district with a recount this season. Gorham recently held a recount of its school budget vote. Their recount confirmed that the budget passed – again – but by two votes, down from an initial four-vote winning margin, the Press Herald reported at this link.

If MSAD 15’s upcoming recount determines that the budget did not pass, the budget will go back to the school board for reconsideration.

Joanne Cole