Town meeting 2022

WINCHESTER — Residents will vote on a proposal to provide benefits to the school district’s paraprofessionals and the rest of this year’s school warrant at the polls early next week.

Here’s a look at Winchester’s warrant:

Budget proposal: $12,667,870, an increase of about $268,000, or roughly 2 percent, from the figure voters approved last year. If the proposal fails at the polls, the district’s default budget of $12,557,611 will go into effect.

Hot topics: Whether to approve a measure stipulating that, from fiscal year 2023 to 2028, the school district’s operating budget cannot increase at a rate higher than the annual inflation rate — based on the Social Security Administration’s cost-of-living adjustment — or exceed an increase of 3.5 percent from the previous fiscal year’s operating budget. This article is advisory-only and was submitted by petition.

Other warrant articles: Voters will be asked whether to enter the district into a two-year collective-bargaining agreement to offer health insurance to the school’s paraprofessionals. These employees are not currently offered health benefits.

For fiscal year 2022-23, the district’s cost for the single health insurance plan would be $121,727 — 85 percent of the overall price. The remaining 15 percent would be paid by the employee. The cost of the second year for the district would be $92,664.

Contested races: Two candidates are vying for a three-year term on the school board: Joni Hale Hadler and Jason Spaulding.

Voting: Since Winchester follows an official-ballot format, voters will elect officers and consider the entire warrant at the polls on Tuesday, March 8, at Winchester School from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This article has been changed to correct that the measure restricting the school board's operating budget is advisory-only.

Olivia Belanger can be reached at 603-352-1234, extension 1439, or obelanger@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @OBelangerKS.

Olivia Belanger is the health reporter for The Sentinel, covering issues from the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic to mental health services in the region. A N.H. native, she joined The Sentinel team in August 2019.