MVTU Welcomes Defeat of $24M School Bond


Enfield, New Hampshire – March 14, 2012 – The Mascoma Valley Taxpayer Union welcomed the news Tuesday night that the $24M school bond had been rejected by voters. A three-fifths majority of voters was required to pass the bond, but only 56% had voted in favor.

In the week before the election, MVTU sent a flyer to every household in the five towns of the Mascoma Valley Regional School District, notifying voters of the enormous tax impact this bond would have on them—property owners and renters alike—and urging them to vote against the bond. The flyer also exposed the brazen “scare tactics” that were being used to support the project and compared it to a much cheaper renovation at a nearby private school.

One voter in Grafton said he voted no because, of the $24M the School District was hoping to raise, in his opinion not one dollar was actually going to educating children. Instead, all of the money would have gone to expansions not related to education and renovations to bring the building and parking lot up to arbitrary code requirements.

“Hopefully, this vote will finally put the question to rest,” Jeremy J. Olson, a Grafton resident and co-founder of MVTU, said. “Last time, the School District requested $40M for a brand new school. That was defeated. Now $24M for a renovation has been defeated. The voters have obviously spoken.”

But the fight isn’t over.

Before the vote, political signs advocating for the school bond appeared all over the Mascoma Valley—and none of these signs identified who produced or paid for them. A Grafton resident, Brian Fellers, reported receiving an anonymous telephone call from someone advocating in favor of the school bond. And people were seen at the polling places conducting exit polls with stacks of printed questionnaires.

The Mascoma Valley Taxpayers Union is concerned that the School District itself was paying for this electioneering using taxpayer dollars.

“Tomorrow, we will be delivering a request to the SAU office in Enfield, under New Hampshire’s right-to-know law (RSA 91-A), to examine the District’s expenditures and finances over the past few months,” Mr. Olson added. “And if we discover that this anonymous electioneering has been conducted using taxpayer dollars, we plan to take further action.

“It’s bad enough that they want us to pay $24 million to expand a school in a district that’s shrinking. But did they make us pay for their electioneering too?”

The Mascoma Valley Taxpayers Union (MVTU) is an organization set up by concerned citizens of the Mascoma Valley region of New Hampshire, in response to the ever-growing size of our local, school, and county budgets—and our ever-increasing property tax bills that result from this. Our mission is to oppose spending and tax increases in the Mascoma Valley, inform residents about anything that will result in higher taxes, and educate other concerned citizens on how to effectively fight these increases.

Jeremy J. Olson
Mascoma Valley Taxpayers Union
12 Liberty Lane
Grafton, New Hampshire, 03240