HARVARD — After two failed amendments, voters approved a $200,000 Proposition Two and a half override.
Wade Holtzman suggested an amendment at the May 21 Special Town Meeting to remove $145,000 from the school budget, $3,000 from the Finance Department, $19,200 from the library and $38,000 from the Department of Public Works (DPW).
“To me, this represents a zero override,” Holtzman said. “It adds up to (more than) $200,000.”
Those cuts would mean cutting the additional hours for the Finance Department personnel, reducing the summer hours for the library and not re-hiring to positions at the DPW.
The numbers Holtzman proposed represented the Finance Department cutting the adjustment for additional hours in personnel, at lease a reduction in summer hours for the Library and the DPW not re-hiring two open positions within the department. Holtzman didn’t offer specific cuts for the School Department.
“As far as the specific cuts, I have no idea,” he said. “That’s up to the School Department.”
Chairmen Leo Blair, Debbi Ricci and Stuart Sklar, of the Board of Selectmen and Finance and School committees, respectively, told voters their respective boards and committees unanimously voted in favor of the $200,000 override and hoped residents would support it as well.
Moderator Don Westerling called for a vote on the amendment, which failed by a simple majority.
B.J. Pessia made a motion for a different amendment to be made to the budget, removing $12,000 from the school budget and placing it in the Council on Aging line item.
“The $12,000 would be added to the personnel line in the Council on Aging budget so the director’s position can be a funded full-time position,” she said. “There’s no change in the total budget being considered, so no additional funding is needed.”
The motion was seconded, but failed to pass with a majority vote.
With no further discussion, Westerling called for a vote on the omnibus budget, including the $200,000 override, which passed with the simple majority vote.
The Special Town Meeting was needed after the proposed $786,000 override question failed to pass at the April 1 Annual Town Election.
The revised $19,943,498 budget incorporates a net increase of $295,000 in state revenue and charges.
A Special Town Election will be held June 11 to officially pass the budget before the July 1 deadline.