By Gail Ober
THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
BELMONT — Petitioners are scrambling to resubmit a reworded warrant article to convert the Shaker Regional School District to the Official Ballot Law, commonly called SB2, after the district rejected the petition.
Petitioners until the close of business tomorrow to resubmit the article.
Business Administrator Deb Thompson said yesterday that, according to the school district's attorney Jim O'Shaughnessy and the Department Revenue Administration, the wording on the petition has to be exactly as it is written in the statute as stated in RSA 40:13 – the state law that established the Official Ballot Law, commonly called SB2.
According to Selectman Jon Pike and Thompson, the lead petitioner, when the petition was drafted, the petitioners forgot to include the words "the second Tuesday of March" as a reference to the date the actual vote would be taken.
Thompson said she called Pike and told him yesterday morning. She said that she didn't notice the omission of the word "March," but the attorney and the DRA did. She said the petitioned warrant article was submitted to the school district on Jan. 21 or 22.
Pike said yesterday that supporters of SB2 for the school district are recirculating the petition and he expects to have the requisite 25 signatures in time for the Feb. 3 deadline to submit all petitioned warrant articles.
Thompson said yesterday that date for the public hearings for the SB2 article had already been noticed in the newspapers and, if the petition is resubmitted in time, will be Feb. 9 for Belmont residents at the Belmont Middle School and Feb. 16 at the Canterbury Elementary School.
If the newly worded article is put on the ballot, it will take a two-thirds majority to pass. The vote will take place along with the election of town and school officials on March 8.
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