DEERFIELD — Last week, Steve Barry expressed frustration with the electorate’s 588-565 rejection of article 9 on the Deerfield warrant, which asked voters to approve a revolving fund to hold and distribute funds for police details.
Since the vote was so close, however, a recount on the article has been scheduled for tonight at 6.
Barry, who supported revoking Senate Bill 2 (SB2) in Deerfield, said the initial vote tally is reflective of the precise reason traditional Town Meeting is a better fit for the community.
“To me, (article 9) was a no-brainer, and for the third year in a row, it hasn’t passed, even though it costs nothing, has no tax impact and brings in extra revenue,” said Barry. “It wouldn’t have cost a dime and it would have reduced the budget, but now we have to raise money through taxes to pay for (police details).”
Last year, Deerfield ran out of money in its budget to pay for detail work, so even though thousands in additional revenue was on the table, the town couldn’t accept it, said Barry.
This year’s article was supported by all five selectmen, and town administrator Michael Wright hypothesized that many residents may have been confused by the wording of the request.
“It’s kind of complicated for some people, who I’m assuming thought there was some cost associated with it,” he said. “In reality, it’s just an accounting thing, but people see an account being created, and in a town like this, with a high tax rate and a limited business community, they get nervous that they’re going to have to pay for it or be asked to add money to it later.”
Wright said a 22-vote swing is rare in small towns that use automated voter-counting machines, but added that there is always a chance a recount could change the result.