MOULTONBOROUGH — A special public meeting will be held for voters in the Moultonborough School District at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to consider whether student face mask use should be optional.

Current district policy calls for masks to be used on school buses and indoors when COVID-19 transmission rates are high.

In a September 14 School Board meeting, Superintendent Patrick Andrew said that an attorney’s opinion for the district says that the sentiment of voters on face masks as expressed at the special meeting will be advisory only.

“That’s a policy issue which clearly the law states is in the hands of this body,” Andrew told the school board.

Voters can determine financial matters, but not policy issues, he said. With advertising requirements and legal representation, the meeting will end up costing the school district about $5,000.

Rep. Glenn Cordelli, a Tuftonboro Republican, disputes the interpretation that the meeting will be advisory only.

“I’ve spoken to people in the executive branch who think it would be a binding decision at the special meeting,” he told the school board. “You might end up back in court if that’s the route you take.”

The special meeting is being held under New Hampshire RSA 197:2. The statute says voters can petition to have such a meeting, but it doesn’t provide guidance on whether the decision reached at the gathering would be advisory or binding.

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