On June 7, all towns, or Washington West Supervisory Union (WWSU) districts, will vote for an accelerated version of Act 46. The law intends to consolidate school governance and budgets across the state in order to create financial savings and equity of education.
Taxpayers can receive up to five years of tax incentives if all six Valley towns vote to consolidate early. A consolidation in some form is inevitable in 2019, according to the state and the Washington West Supervisory Union (WWSU) Act 46 study committee, composed of representatives from each school board.
If only four versus all six towns vote yes for the accelerated merger, taxpayers in those towns can receive up to four years of tax incentives. This would be known as a “modified union,” and both Waterbury and Duxbury must vote yes for either of them to be included.
Voters will see a two-sided ballot. The front will contain language from a constitution – or articles of agreement – created by the Act 46 study committee, which would govern the newly merged board.
Article 1 addresses the formation of the unified board (named the Harwood Unified Union School District) and says that the report created by the Act 46 committee will govern the new board. The articles of agreement are part of that report. The ballot will ask if voters are in favor or opposed to the accelerated merger.
Article 2 says that two school board members will be elected to the newly merged board. In Waterbury, it would be four, based on population.
The back of the ballot will ask voters to select their choices for school board candidates. Petitions to run for a seat in the newly merged board must be filed by May 9. Absentee ballots will be available May 17.
Below is a list of polling locations by each town:
• Duxbury - Crossest Brook Middle School
• Fayston - Town Clerk’s Office
• Moretown - Town Clerk’s Office
• Waitsfield - Waitsfield Elementary School
• Warren - Warren Elementary School
• Waterbury - Waterbury Town Clerk’s Office, Municipal Complex