The Board of Education on Monday voted to reject community petitions to hold a new vote on a controversial transportation referendum limiting bus service in the district.
Since the , increasing the distances for children to get bus service to school, there has been community outcries over the measure, specifically at the a and board meetings. Many cite the confusing wording of the referendum, and the safety risks children walking in high-traffic areas with no sidewalks, as reason for a re-vote.
At the elementary level the distance will be one-half mile limit, secondary schools will have a one-and-a-half mile limit, and private and parochial schools will have a 15-mile limit.
But four board members – current President Robert Rossi, Vice President Joseph Saggese, Theresa Knox and Louis Liguori – voted to reject the petitions; board members Scott Martella and Gladys Waldron voted to accept the petitions; Neil Carlin abstained.
Superintendent Edward Ehmann said the issue isn't over yet.
“I do not think that it’s put to rest,” he said. “I think that the community is still going to request that people have a second chance to voice their opinion on this matter, so that remains to be seen."
While the board voted to reject the petitions for a re-vote, Ehmann said with the introduction of two new board members – and the dynamic of the board could change and the potential for a new referendum or views on the transportation issue is a possibility.
Plourde and McEnroy will first take their seats on the board at the July 12 board meeting.
The superintendent also said that a new referendum could be introduced by the board.
“The Board of Ed rejecting this group of petitions doesn’t preclude them from doing a motion on their own to establish another referendum,” he said. “Now it cannot be the same referendum, the language has to be different.”