Parent group pushing for $2.5 million override

Local parents who support the $2.5 million permanent tax override on the ballot in the June 20 election are launching a “Vote Yes for Marblehead” campaign.

“’Vote Yes for Marblehead’ will be working in the coming weeks to advocate for the successful passage of the override,” the committee said in a statement to the Marblehead Current. “As residents, taxpayers and parents, we simply could not stand by silently while critical public safety and education services are at risk of being drastically reduced.”

The override, which will fund the schools and other town departments, including police and fire, passed by more than a two-thirds vote at Town Meeting this month.

School Committee Chair Sarah Fox is confident the Vote Yes committee is up to the task.

“It’s a great group of energetic parents who are committed to getting out the word about what’s represented in the override,” Fox said, adding that the override is critical to the schools.

“We are simply asking to stay at level services. We’re not adding things. This really is because of the financial situation we’re in.”

If the override does not pass, the district will need to cut 33 positions along with several programs, including freshmen sports and language classes, according to Schools Superintendent John Buckey. Staff who might be laid off have already been notified, but they won’t receive official pink slips until after the override vote.

Those cuts won’t just be felt next year, Buckey said.

“The downriver is really the problem. The impact to students will be compounded over time.”

Stay with the Current for continuing coverage of the June 20 override vote, along with elections for School Committee, Select Board and other town positions.

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Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.

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