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Lewes, Delaware
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June 17, 2008     Cape Gazette
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June 17, 2008
 

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-1-- 10 TUESDAY, JUNE 17 - THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2008 NEWS Cape Gazette Referendum Continued from page 1 District Superintendent George Stone said the district carefully words its messages and was try- ing to get people out to vote. Milton parent Sharon Davis criticized the use of the automat- ed call system during the refer- endum to send out what she called a desperate plea for votes. Davis said she received a sec- ond call after the polls closed and the results were in. "I have a problem with the manner in which it was done. It was an angry call saying there will be cuts and they will affect children, as if we didn't care about children if we voted no," Davis said. Board member Allan Redden said he did not have a problem using the call system to remind people to vote. He had no com- ment on the second phone call that was made after the results. were read. Jean Turner, deputy director of the Sussex County. Depart- ment of Elections, said she is aware other school districts used phone calls to remind people to vote, but not of using an auto- mated call system to do so. Board member Gary Wray said he planned to bring up the issue of using the automated call system when the board meets Thursday, June 26. "It is an emergency system and I don't think this was an emergency," he said. Stone said the system is for the district to communicate with parents. He said the calls went out based on the system data- base and not a list of voters ac- quired from elections officials. Wray said the failure of the referendum was a disappoint- ment, but he understood in a time of rising commodity prices that people were voting their pocketbooks. "I don't think it had to do with negative feelings about the school district. Anoth- er way to look at it is that we had 900 people support us," Wray said. Monday, June 30. Wray said the school board will have to take a hard look at anything not directly related to the daytime education of stu- dents. Stone emailed board members and school staff, saying the dis- trict would do its best to main- tain discipline staff and special- ists but other programs funded through certain state grants, in- cluding student mentoring pro- grams and tuition reimburse- ment to teachers, were at risk for elimination. He said one solution would be to cut back programs in an effort to avoid eliminating them. Cuts coming Stone said the district expects to join others across the state in making cuts to extra-time pro- grams as a result of anticipated funding cuts from the state. Redden said the specific cuts will depend on the state's f'mal budget, which will be f'malized No=ndum Davis, who spoke out against the use of funds for a second ar- tificial tuff field, said she was im- pressed by voter turnout. She said she wants to see the district return to referetldum to ask for 8 cents of tax rate to be moved in- to operations and be clear about I Certified Public Accountant and Business Advisor ffi If you need help with the foliowing: i l Advice on Setting up or Buying a Business Payroll Returns ~ Bookkeeping QuickBooks Set-Up & Maintenance B Give us a call, we can help! | Lo000000e.i00Re00obo00 | where the money will be spent. "It must be specified where the money will go. It really is all about children and this referen- dum was not," Davis said. Lewes resident Jim Bastian was in favor of the referendum. "I want to extend my sympathies to the people who don't care about our children and our chil- dren's activities. I feel very dis- appointed in the community that for an $18 dollar tax return they would deprive our children," he said. Redden said because of the timing, he doubts the school board could return to referen- dum on the tax rate. The school board has to set its tax rates with the county by mid-July. Stone said after the board approves a referendum, it must advertise for a month, meaning it would miss the tax rate deadline and not be able to use the money for a year at least. Board member Camilla Con- Ion said, "I am not interested in going back for another referen- dum. I think the community has voiced their opinion" award winning Wednesday Night Steakhouse Night Call for details serving dinner daily from 6pro 23 baltimore avenue, rehoboth beach, de 19971 302.227.3330 www.edenrestaurant.com STINE RESIDENTIAL BUILDING LOTS 28 pristine acres adjacent to private marsh & adjacent to Herring Creek waterway. Sub divided into 4 lots between 5 & 9 acres each. Site evaluations on file, recent survey. Beautiful mature woods great get away yet close to beaches. 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