The Eagle reports that:
Voters rejected a Proposition 2 1/2 override in yesterday’s annual town election by a narrow, 80-vote margin in a heavy turnout. The town will now have to cut roughly $530,292 from four major budget areas before next week’s annual town meeting.
I am impressed with the sophistication of the voters of Williamstown. Last year, they voted for the override. One way to interpret this, perhaps, is that they were ready to treat last year as a true (one time) emergency. This year, they felt, collectively, that town officials were not trying hard enough to be frugal. So, now those officials — including Professor Ralph Bradburd — get to try harder. This is precisely how the architects of Proposition 2 1/2 hoped that it would work.
But John Weyers voted against the override. “My personal opinion is that the budget isn’t handled right, and the teachers need to pay more for their medical insurance,” he said after voting in the afternoon.
Like John Weyers, I am suspicious of some of the budgeting at, at least, the high school.
The override failed despite a concerted effort to drum up support from Together for Williamstown, a ballot question committee that was reformed this year to push for an override.
“I thought we were going to win,” said Together for Williamstown Chairman George T. “Sam” Crane. “A lot of people put in a lot of effort.”
“Everybody’s going to get hurt by this, and that’s the shame of it,” he said.
I am sad that all of Sam’s hard work failed to win the vote. I still think that there is a great senior thesis to be written about the efforts of TFW. It’s not too late for a smart ’05’er to start interviewing people and taking surveys.
And now, what says Williams College? Longtime readers will know that the College’s contributions to Mount Greylock Regional High School (MGRHS) have been an interest of mine. [Interest? How about obsession. — ed. No, Barnard/VISTA is an obsession. MGHRS is an interest.]
It is clear that folks from Williamstown would like the College to contribute again. College officials have repeatedly said that last year’s contribution was “one time” in nature. Place your bets.