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[Update] Voters Support Schools and 'Stabilization'

The Board of Finance is meeting to set the tax rate.

Update, 8:06 p.m.

The polls have closed and the budget has passed with over 9 percent voter turnout.

Of the 1,193 people who voted, 9.97 percent of registered voters, 789 (66 percent) voted yes and 404 (34 percent) voted no.

If there had been less than 9 percent, the budget would have automatically passed.

This year was not the lowest turnout though.

  • 2001: 5.1 percent, 534 people
  • 1999: 10.1 percent, 1,016 people
  • 2007: 12.6 percent, 1,400 people
  • 2000: 13.4 percent, 1,353 people
  • 2011: 15.5 percent, 1,868 people

The average voter turnout percentage from 19 budget referendums was about 23.2 percent.

The Board of Finance is meeting now to set the tax rate.

Update, 7:09 p.m.

Avon's getting close to 9 percent voter turnout. By 7 p.m., 1,054 people voted, or 8.8 percent.

Polls close at 8 p.m. A special Board of Finance meeting will follow to set the mill rate.

Update, 5:32 p.m.

By 5 p.m., there was 6.4 percent voter turnout at the budget referendum, or 777 people.

Original Story

Voter turnout for Wednesday's budget referendum has been low so far – 5.5 percent, or 662 of 11,954 registered voters.

If the percentage stays below 9 percent the $78.72 million budget will pass. Should that happen, it won't be the first time, Ann Clark, Democratic registrar of voters, said.

At this point it's a toss up whether about 400 more voters will come to the polls at the to reach 9 percent.

"I think it's going to be close," Clark said at 3:52 p.m.

Last year, voter turnout was low early on and capped at 15.6 percent, or 1,868 voters. The passed by 686 votes.

Town officials have been hearing crickets about this year's budget.

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Registrar Laura Hunt (R) chalks it up to people's confidence in  Superintendent Gary Mala, who was hired in March 2011.

"He's really into everything," said Hunt, who does not have children in the school district. "Everyone likes him and he's thinking about it as a business, not a school, so I think that's a good thing."

Clark said she hasn't heard many negative things about the proposed budget.

"I just think they were all pleased with the amount of the budget," Clark said.

Parent Jeff Begleter voted yes on the budget. Funding for schools and public safety were most important to him.

"I have kids in school and I wanted to support the schools," Begleter said.

Avon resident Bob Wallace said that he is looking for "stabilization" in the budget.

"I think town budgets tend to be like army requisitioning," Wallace said. "You always ask for more than you really need, so you can get concessions for what you really want."

The Board of Finance will set the tax rate at a special meeting after the polls close at 8 p.m. and the votes are counted.

Paulette May 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM
It is a shame that under 10% of voters even bothered to show up!
Adam May 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM
It's a greater shame our taxes are going up.

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