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EWG voters to head to the polls today

April 11, 2011

The Exeter-West Greenwich School District will be holding an all-day referendum on the 2011/2012 school operations budget and charter amendments, Monday, April 11 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Exeter residents can vote at the Exeter Public Library, 773 Ten Rod Road; Exeter and West Greenwich residents can vote at the West Greenwich Fire Station #1, 830 Nooseneck Hill Road, West Greenwich.
The two polling locations, which were the subject of debate during recent School Committee meetings, come at no extra cost to the towns and will allow the committee members to get a better idea of how each town is voting.
In early March, the EWG School Committee unanimously adopted the final budget with a total operational cost of $30,828,944, an increase of $1,424,694 over the 2010/2011 budget. The cost to Exeter is $10,365,920, a .61 percent increase over last year’s budget and the cost to West Greenwich as $12,411,315, an increase of 2.16 percent increase.
State aid is expected to stay the same at $5,981,252.
A new policy for budget approval by referendum was approved last month, requiring the budget to be submitted 30 days before the all-day referendum, rather than the 10-day advance previously outlined in the policy and charter.
Residents will also be voting on a charter amendment proposition. If approved by the voters, the amendment will require that the school committee be reapportioned every ten years based upon the census. Each town will have three members and the town with the highest population will have a fourth member.
The U. S. Supreme Court required reapportionment in the Baker v. Carr decision upholding the constitutionality of “one man one vote”. The language of the proposition is as follows:
Shall the Charter of the Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School District be amended to provide for reapportionment of the School Committee following each decennial national census? Reapportionment to take effect at the election next following the census. The school committee shall continue to have seven (7) members and the members shall continue to have four (4) year staggered terms. The school committee in office in April of 2012 and each tenth year thereafter shall set the number of committee members from each town, on the basis of the population of each town, and provide for staggered terms. The town with the higher population will have no more than four (4) school committee members.

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