PLAINVILLE — For the second time in less than a year, voters have soundly rejected a Proposition 2 1/2 override request.
A referendum question would have allowed the town to raise an additional $1.95 million, but it went down to defeat 933 to 591 in the annual town election Monday.
An obviously disappointed Brian Kelly, chairman of the board of selectmen, stood in the foyer of town hall after the polls closed and lamented, “We’ve built these beautiful buildings and we don’t have the people to fully staff them. It’s really disappointing.”
Monday’s results follow voters’ overwhelming rejection of a $3.25 million Proposition 2 ½ override request last June, which led to substantial reductions in the town government and school budgets, along with many employee layoffs.
The scaled-down request put before the voters this time was the result of many meetings and negotiations, Kelly said. Town officials had said the override would bring back “critical” positions including teachers and public safety personnel.
Kelly said that people had not felt effects of the town’s budget woes yet. “Until it really impacts people, which is really sad and scary, which is what we will have to wait for,” he said.
In the only contested race on the ballot, Christopher Desprez defeated Justin Alexander for a five-year term on the planning board, 719-636.
Total turnout was 1,531, or 22 percent of the town’s registered voters, higher than the usual 12 to 13 percent seen in most town elections, Town Clerk Ellen Robertson said.