Proposition 2 and a half override votes took place in Ashby, Pepperell and Townsend last week to provide supplemental funding for the North Middlesex Regional School District.

Pepperell and Ashby passed the override but Townsend voted it down.

In Ashby, the question passed by only three votes.

Ashby resident Kevin Stetson has now collected sufficient signatures to require a recount. With two of the three member towns voting in favor of the override, it passed. But If a recount reverses Ashby's vote, the override will fail.

With a lot at stake, we can only wait and see what the outcome will be. In Townsend, officials are scrambling to come up with the supplemental sum that must now come out of the town's budget.

In a related matter, the North Middlesex Regional School Committee agreed to a new teachers contract worth $1.5 million in increases over the term of the contract. The contract includes:

* No cost-of-living hikes in fiscal 2013 and 2014

* A 1 percent increase in fiscal 2015

* Step increases in fiscal 2013, 2014 and 2015

New Superintendent Joan Landers called the pact fair given the existing fiscal challenges coupled with the concessions the teachers have made in recent years.

One School Committee member spoke out in favor of the agreement, calling it reasonable. He said the teachers have worked for a year without a contract and negotiators worked for six months to hammer out these terms.


Another member spoke against it, fearing that the district won't be able to cover the cost of the contract without the future loss of teachers or other essential personnel.

Residents of the school district will have to decide what they think of the contract, approved two days after the override election.