Jefferson voters elected Allison Brooks and reelected Al Vorhis to the Jefferson School Committee on July 14.
Brooks received 372 votes, Vorhis 302, and Richard Parlin Jr. 230. Brooks, a parent of two students at Jefferson Village School, won her first term. Vorhis, the current chair of the committee, won a fourth consecutive term.
A power outage delayed Jefferson’s reporting of complete election results until late Wednesday, July 15.
The three-way race for two seats on the school committee was the only contested race on the ballot. Elsewhere, Selectman Jigger Clark received 500 votes to win reelection.
Peter Brush, Linda Pierpont, Josh Sevon, and Darin Walker received 372, 416, 376, and 447 votes, respectively, to secure four seats on the Jefferson Budget Committee.
Town meeting by referendum
Voters passed all articles in the town meeting by referendum, resulting in the approval of a municipal budget with a 3.75% increase. The budget totals $959,712.57, an increase of $34,644.57 over 2019.
The overall increase includes $7,800 more for auditing services, due to the decision to conduct a pre-audit; $7,500 more for ambulance service; $2,500 more for elections, due to the upcoming presidential election; and $2,000 for the planning board, which did not have a budget last year.
By a vote of 486-83, residents authorized the selectmen to deposit all revenue from new equipment on a U.S. Cellular tower in a special account and to spend the funds as they deem advisable for a potential future project to improve access to high-speed internet, with any leftover funds going into surplus. The tower is on town property on Fire Tower Road and the town receives a percentage of rental revenue.
The closest vote of the town meeting by referendum was on Article 3, to allow the town to charge 7% interest on late tax payments. The vote was 243-230.
In a separate budget validation referendum, voters favored Jefferson’s 2020-2021 education budget 472-107. The budget had previously been approved in an open town meeting June 22.
The budget totals $6,239,426.34, an increase of $420,153.13 from 2019-2020. Officials have said carry-forward from the 2019-2020 budget and an increase in state subsidy will offset the higher expenses.