Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Incumbents win!

After a very turbulent year in Oyster River, with many folks understandably mad about rising taxes and the district's overall COVID response, all four school board seats were won by the incumbents.  The Oyster River School Board membership remains unchanged.  

The outstanding question is who will be chair now that long time chair Tom Newkirk has indicated he will not seek a leadership role.  The newly elected board decides as its first act, at the school board meeting on March 17.

While the voters might have been looking for a change, in the end none of the challengers proved to be a compelling enough alternative to the current board members.  While they might not have been thrilled about it, the voters picked the best folks from among the choices they were offered. Turnout was around average, with 2366 district voters, down from a record 3274 last year.

Congratulations to currently serving and now newly elected board member Yusi Turell, who becomes the Durham representative to the school board.  Congratulations to reelected members Brian Cisnernos, Lee rep;  Dan Klein, Madbury rep; and Al Howland, now an at-large member with a one year term.   

Brian was our most popular board member today, pulling in 84% of the vote.  It sure helps to have your opponent drop out and endorse you. (Though not for 16% of you who voted for the other guy anyway.)  Dan Klein and Yusi Turell each got 67% of the vote in tough races with multiple challengers, at least at the start, and one challenger each at the end.  Longest serving member Al Howland drew 61% of the vote against two challengers.

The district won as well, with all ballot questions passing: the $50.2M budget article got 76% of the vote; remarkably good in context (see below).  Bus drivers, paras & support staff got their raises.  The cap on the emergency fund was raised to 5%, around $2M, and the middle school solar array fund got its first $125K.   

The challengers did respectably, with Ms. Dunbar pulling in 23% for Madbury rep, Ms. Piparo and Mr. Durkee each pulling in 19% in the at-large race,  and the mostly absent Mr. Mason winning 11% for Durham rep.   Withdrawn candidates did similarly well: 21% for Dr. Fortin, 15% for Mr. Alcocer and 9% for Mr. Abbott.  Congratulations to all the candidates and the PTOs on a civil and well run campaign season that made us all proud to be citizens.

Lee note: Congratulations to newly elected Lee Selectperson Katrin Kasper, on what has to be the upset of the night.  She beat long time Chair John LaCourse and relative newcomer Jonathan Moss.  She really campaigned them to shame.  Great job, Katrin!

You might enjoy this little spreadsheet history of the district that covers the time I've been paying attention, followed by tonight's detailed results.





Detailed Results



Thanks to Todd Selig and Durham Friday Updates for these results.  Percentages are mine.


 

SCHOOL DISTRICT UNOFFICIAL RESULTS


ARTICLE 1:

For Moderator (Vote for not more than one)

Richard Laughton - 1899   ELECTED

Write-in - 5

 

 

ARTICLE 2:

For School Board - Durham (Vote for not more than one)

Erik Mason        214  10.8%

Yusi Turell       1333   67.5%   ELECTED

Jeffrey Fortin   422   21.4%

Write-in              7      0.4%

 

For School Board - Lee (Vote for not more than one)

Nicolas Alcocer     283    15.1%

Brian Cisneros     1578    84.2%   ELECTED 

Write-in                 12      0.6%

  

For School Board - Madbury (Vote for not more than one)

Michelle Dunbar       446  23.4% 

Daniel Klein           1280  67.1%  ELECTED

Kevin Abbott            173   9.1%

Write-in                      8    0.4%

 

School Board at Large (Vote for not more than one)

Allan Howland    1261   61.0%   ELECTED

Jill Piparo            394   19.1%

Matt Durkee         403   19.5%

Write-in                  9      0.4%

 

ARTICLE 3:

Shall the District raise and appropriate as an operating budget, not including
appropriations by special warrant article and other appropriations voted separately, the amount set forth on the budget posted with the warrant or as amended by vote of the first session, for the purposes set forth therein, totaling $50,173,045. Should this article be defeated, the operating budget shall be $50,080,250 (Default Budget) which is the same as last year with certain adjustments required by previous action of the District or by law; or the District may hold one special meeting in accordance with RSA 40:13, X, and XVI to take up the issue of the revised operating budget only. The School Board recommends this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

Note:
Fund 10 = $48,707,995 (regular operating budget); Fund 21 = $824,050 (expenditures from food service revenues); Fund 22 = $600,000 (expenditures from federal/special revenues); Fund 23 = $41 ,000 (expenditures from pass through funds).

 

YES  1584  75.8%  PASSED

NO      435  22.5%

 

 

ARTICLE 4:

Shall the District vote to approve within the provisions of New Hampshire RSA 273-A:3
the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Oyster River Bus Drivers Association and the Oyster River School Board which calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at the current staffing levels:

 

2021 - 2022      $18,070


and further to raise and appropriate the sum of $18,070 for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, such sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increases in salaries and benefits required by the new agreement over those that would be paid at current staffing levels? The School Board recommends this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

YES  1920   85.8%  PASSED

NO      317  14.2%

 

 

ARTICLE 5:

Shall the District vote to approve within the provisions of New Hampshire RSA 273-A:3 the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Oyster River Para-Educators and Support Staff and the Oyster River School Board which calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at the current staffing levels:

 

2021 - 2022      $63,853


and further to raise and appropriate the sum of $63,853 for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, such sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increases in salaries and benefits required by the new agreement over those that would be paid at current staffing levels? The School Board recommends this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

YES  1811    81.2%  PASSED

NO     420    18.8%   

 

 

ARTICLE 6:

Shall the District vote in accordance with RSA 198:4-b, II to increase, indefinitely until rescinded, the retention of any unused portion of the year-end unassigned general funds from the preceding fiscal year from the current percentage of 2.5% to 5% of the current fiscal year's net assessment under RSA 198:5 for the purpose of having funds on hand to use in subsequent fiscal years? The School Board recommends this appropriation. (Majority vote required).

 

YES  1747  79.0%   PASSED

NO      465  21.0%

 

 

ARTICLE 7:

Shall the District vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $125,000 to be added to the Facilities Development, Maintenance, and Replacement Trust which was established in March of 2017. This sum to come from June 30 fund balance available for transfer on July 1. The School Board recommends this appropriation. (Majority vote required).  No amounts to be raised from taxation.

 

YES   1814  81.6%  PASSED 

NO      409  18.4%

 

Total ORCSD votes cast today:  2366.

 


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