Town Election Guide

For some, fight for funding goes on despite override loss
Education, Local News, Marblehead Public Schools, Municipal Matters, Politics, Public safety, Sports, Top Stories, Town Election Guide, Uncategorized

For some, fight for funding goes on despite override loss

With the failure of the $2.5 million override last week, some parents and residents are determined to find other ways to fund the schools and town next year and prevent the loss of more than 30 positions and several programs that have been cut. Pink slips were sent out to affected teachers and staff on June 23. Freshman sports have been canceled for next year. Voters rejected the $2.5 million override, but some residents aren't giving up. CURRENT PHOTO / LEIGH BLANDER “I personally feel that we have to continue to advocate for what our kids need,” said Sarah Magazine-Yount, who has two young children in Marblehead schools. “There’s a lot of energy in the parent community to get engaged. There’s been a little bit of a wake-up call.” Resident Jim Zisson believes the town should ...
School Committee chair ‘shocked’ by town budget announcement that could lead to more layoffs
Education, Local News, Marblehead Public Schools, Municipal Matters, Top Stories, Town Election Guide

School Committee chair ‘shocked’ by town budget announcement that could lead to more layoffs

The Marblehead School Committee and the district are dealing with a bombshell announcement late Wednesday that the town may not be able contribute the full $350,000 expected toward school energy costs in fiscal year 2024 because there may not be enough funds available. The town also notified the schools that it has to charge back approximately $60,000 in utility costs to the department for the current fiscal year, according to the district. The new Select Board is sworn in Wednesday night. Shortly after, it adjourned without hearing from upset parents. CURRENT PHOTO / LEIGH BLANDER "I am shocked," School Committee Chair Sarah Fox said about the $350,000 surprise. She spoke immediately after the Select Board adjourned its June 21 meeting after refusing to take public comment from ab...
Changes coming to School Committee amid budget crisis
Local News, Marblehead Public Schools, Municipal Matters, Politics, Top Stories, Town Election Guide, Uncategorized

Changes coming to School Committee amid budget crisis

Voters sent two familiar faces to the School Committee, as the district is forced to cut 30-plus positions and several programs with the failure of the tax override. Jenn Schaeffner (a former School Committee member) and former Glover School Principal Brian Ota beat incumbent Sarah Gold and Paul Baker. Schaeffer won 3,052 votes and Ota 2,497. Gold received 2,390 votes and Baker received 2,262. Former Glover School Principal Brian Ota will join the School Committee. Jenn Schaeffner is returning to the School Committee. "I'm very excited," Ota told the Current moments after initial results were reported. "The School Committee has its work cut out for it. We have to do a deep dive, a poll to the town to find out why the last two override requests failed." Ota said the district wi...
Marblehead voters head to polls to decide tax override, candidate races
Education, Local News, Marblehead Public Schools, Municipal Matters, Politics, Public safety, Top Stories, Town Election Guide

Marblehead voters head to polls to decide tax override, candidate races

Marblehead voters are heading to the polls today, June 20, deciding a $2.5 million permanent tax override, along with several hotly-contested races for Select Board, School Committee, Board of Health and more. Override supporters say the tax increase is necessary to fund dozens of town positions in the schools, public safety and public works, along with programs. Critics say the town has mismanaged its finances and should live within its means. Read more about the override debate here. For a complete election rundown, check out the Current’s 2023 Election Guide at marbleheadcurrent.org/election2023. The Guide includes a tax override calculator to help residents determine the impact of the override on their individual tax bill. The polls will be open June 20,  7 a.m. to...
Marblehead Current launches override calculator
Local News, Marblehead Public Schools, Municipal Matters, Politics, Public safety, real estate, Top Stories, Town Election Guide

Marblehead Current launches override calculator

Marblehead voters head to the polls on June 20 to approve or reject a $2.5 million permanent override and elect many town leaders. It has been 18 years since Marblehead has approved a general override. Launching today within its comprehensive Election Guide, the Marblehead Current is including an override calculator which allows residents to input their property's estimated value and learn their additional tax burden should the override be approved. The calculator, created by Marblehead resident and web developer Ed Lewis, shows additional taxes for year one, and also quarterly within that year. Unlike a debt-exclusion (temporary) override, which comes off the rolls once a building or project is paid for, a general override becomes a permanent part of the tax base. This means the...
Parent group pushing for $2.5 million override
Education, Local News, Marblehead Public Schools, Municipal Matters, Public safety, Sports, Top Stories, Town Election Guide

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 energ...
Tweaks to election process on Marblehead Town Meeting warrant
Local News, Top Stories, Town Election Guide

Tweaks to election process on Marblehead Town Meeting warrant

Compared to a proposal to extend the terms of members of the Select Board to three years, three other Town Meeting articles that would tweak the way local elections are administered may prove to be less controversial.  In Article 53, the second-to-last article on the warrant, resident Jonathan Lederman is proposing that the town accept the provisions of a state law, G.L.c. 53, §9A, which would clarify that the final date for obtaining blank nomination papers for nomination to town office shall be “48 weekday hours” prior to the hour on which nomination papers are required to be submitted for certification. Lederman told the Current that his article may get amended before Town Meeting, as there are lingering questions about the overlap between the deadline he is proposing to move and...
QUESTIONS FOR 8TH ESSEX CANDIDATES: No. 2 — Tell us about a view-shaping event
Local News, Top Stories, Town Election Guide

QUESTIONS FOR 8TH ESSEX CANDIDATES: No. 2 — Tell us about a view-shaping event

The Marblehead News posed a series of common questions to the six Democratic candidates for state representative from the 8th Essex District. There is no declared Republican candidate, meaning the winner of the primary Tuesday, Sept. 6 is likely to head to Beacon Hill to serve Marblehead, Swampscott and a portion of Lynn. Over the next two weeks, the Marblehead News will post the candidates’ responses to our questions, side by side, alternating the order as we go. Previous question: Q1. Tell us about yourself. Today's question: Q2. What life event most profoundly affected your political views, and how did it shape them? Jenny Armini Jenny Armini Conventional wisdom would have you believe that people grow more conservative with age. Yet, I have done the exact opposite....
Question 1 proposes capital spending in four parts
Top Stories, Town Election Guide

Question 1 proposes capital spending in four parts

Marblehead has a history of exercising fiscal prudence within the Proposition 2 1/2 framework to finance capital projects. The process usually unfolds with town officials or a group of citizens identifying a capital need, developing a budget and timeline, and embarking on a campaign to garner community support. Debate plays out in the lead-up to Town Meeting. If the project secures a two-thirds vote on the Town Meeting floor, it heads for a town-wide referendum.  If the project captures a simple majority in that second vote, the town then takes on debt — usually in the next fiscal year — to finance the capital need through the issuance of bonds. Taxpayers pay back the borrowed money — typically at very low interest rates due to Marblehead’s AAA bond rating — in installments ove...
Marblehead school officials: Question 2 would fund long unmet needs
Top Stories, Town Election Guide

Marblehead school officials: Question 2 would fund long unmet needs

In Question 2 on the Tuesday, June 21 town election ballot, school officials are asking to override by $3 million Proposition 2 1/2, which annually limits increases to property-tax assessments to 2.5 percent.  Education officials say the money is needed to fill a significant funding gap in the district’s $43 million budget that has grown over multiple years.  QUESTION 2: Shall the Town of Marblehead be allowed to assess an additional $3,051,093 in real estate and personal property taxes for the purpose of the School Department Budget for which the monies from this assessment will be used for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022? “Years of level-funded budgets have led to holes in our staffing, the deferral of services and educational initiatives,” Marblehead Schoo...