TURNER — Residents of Greene, Leeds and Turner approved a revised $30.2 million school budget for Maine School Administrative District 52 by a vote of 838 to 685 Tuesday.

In Leeds and Turner, 58% of voters supported the budget. The approval rating was slimmer in Greene, where 51% of residents voted in favor of the spending plan.

The overall approval rate for the three towns was 55%.

Residents of Greene voted 359-344; Leeds, 138-98; and Turner, 341-243. In total, 1,523 votes were cast, far more than the 239 residents who voted in the first referendum in May.

Greene had the highest turnout of the three towns, likely due to unusually competitive selectman and MSAD 52 director elections. One of two selectmen seats and the one director seat up for election were won by challengers.

Anthony Shostak was elected to replace Yuri Kowalski on the MSAD 52 board, representing Greene. Shostak received 384 votes to Kowalski’s 265.


Question 2, which asked whether residents wished to continue to have the budget referendum election, also passed in each town. This question is required by state law to be on the ballot every three years.

Under the approved budget, owners of a property assessed at $200,000 will pay $54 more for schools this year in Greene, $86 more in Leeds and $28 more in Turner. The overall tax impact is 1.99%.

Voters rejected the first $30.3 million proposal 146-93 on May 19. That spending plan had an overall tax impact of 2.81%.

After the first referendum, the budget proposal was reduced by $105,127. Cuts included robots for a robotics course at Leavitt Area High School, athletic field equipment, funds to start a unified bocce team and a new school bus.

The failed referendum drew new interest from district residents. Forty-three voters attended the second district budget meeting last week, more than double the number of people who attended the first. Attendees asked more questions about the spending plan, too.

Additions to the budget, including three instructional coaches, a districtwide school psychologist, and a second gifted and talented teacher, remained in the approved budget. The instructional coaches are intended to help address learning gaps and behavior at Greene Central School, Leeds Central School and Tripp Middle School in Turner.

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