Tunbridge, Chelsea Merger Vote Set, Oct. 6 Deadline for Board Candidates

Communities / Sep. 28, 2017 9:13am EDT

Last week the State Board of Education (BOE) approved a revised merger plan that had been drafted by a new Chelsea Tunbridge 706 Committee.

This week the committee issued a press release describing the new plan and urging citizens to consider running for the joint board that would oversee the merged district— if approved by voters.

The vote on the revised merger plan and to elect board members has been set for Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The release stated:

“As a result of community feedback, the Chelsea and Tunbridge School Boards created a new 706 Act 46 Committee. The charge for this committee was to revise the merger proposal that both towns had voted on April 11. The goal was to address two key community concerns in the original proposal.”

The new 706 Committee met during August and September, and submitted a revised proposal to the BOE, which was approved on September 20.

Two Changes

To address residents’ concerns about the original merger plan, the committee made the following changes in the new plan:

• Article 6(b) regarding school building closure has been change to: “No school building shall be closed without a majority vote of the unified district board of the school directors and an affirmative vote by Australian ballot of the town in which it is located.”

• Article 4(b) regarding middle school unification, has been changed to state, “The unified district will collaboratively strengthen the middle school experience for all students. The unified board will fully explore a merged middle school for the 2019-20 school year.”

A vote to form a merged school district is scheduled in both towns on November 7.

“This is not a revote,” the committee emphasized. “This is a vote on the revised proposal—as specified above.”

The full proposal can be found on the school website for both towns, under School Board Documents, as “Chelsea Tunbridge Final Approved 9-7- 17.”

Paper copies of the full proposal can be obtained at either school.

Petition Deadline

Six new school board members, three from each town, will be elected at the November 7 vote.

Those interested in running for the new school board must obtain 30 signatures of registered voters from their town of residence on the Local Candidate Petition. The form, with signatures, needs to be submitted to the Town Clerk no later than Friday, Oct, 6.

Petition forms can be obtained at the following locations: Chelsea Public School, Tunbridge Central School, Chelsea Town Clerk, Tunbridge Town Clerk, or online at the Secretary of State website (search for “local candidate petition”).

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