Letter: Urging a yes vote on merger

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To the Editor:Articles 8 and 9 on the town ballots of Danby, Dorset, Landgrove, Londondery, Manchester, Mt. Tabor, Peru, Sunderland, and Weston, instruct you to vote Yes or No to form the Taconic and Green Regional School District and for members of its initial board. The Articles are lengthy; however they do not include much information for decision making. Consult town annual reports for FAQs and related financial data; a letter from the chair of the Northshire Merger Study Committee that worked on the proposal for many months; and a sample ballot. Information and details of the merger proposal approved unanimously by the Committee and the State is available at https://sites.google.com/site/northshiremergerstudy.The Northshire Merger Study Committee's final forum is March 2 at Manchester Community Library, 6:30 p.m., where you can ask questions and learn more about the proposed district and incentives associated with merging at this time.The actual ballot is long because in Article 8, items 1-3 are legally required to identify the participants in the proposed merger and the composition of the new board, showing multiple possibilities, depending on how the advisable districts vote. Items 4 and 5 outline complex issues of real estate and personal property, and transfer of funds. The Merger Study Committee asked for these items to be voted by Australian ballot now, since, by law, the same voter approval is required to make changes in the future. Items 6 and 7 are procedural. The Yes or No vote follows at the end.Article 9 is election of members to the initial board. Note that six candidates were members of the Merger Study Committee, all well aware of concerns and opportunities to be addressed as the new district takes shape, as are two others who attended a majority of its meetings. I have confidence students in all merging districts will be considered fully. In my opinion, the possibility for enhanced student opportunities, broader community involvement among families in the merging districts, potential for interschool performances and athletics, and even for expanded economic health of this region, as well as considerable tax benefits with incentives only available to districts choosing to merge now, are exciting reasons to vote Yes. Nancy WolfSunderland, Northshire Merger Study Committee


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