By Katina Caraganis
ASHBY -- A recount of the Aug. 28 Proposition 2 1/2 override vote could take place as early as Tuesday, Town Clerk Lorraine Pease said.
Ashby resident Kevin Stetson submitted the necessary paperwork to Pease, and the Board of Registrars planned to meet Tuesday night to check the validity of the petition and formally post the recount vote.
Pease said Stetson's petition needed only 10 signatures from registered voters in town, which he appeared to have when he turned in the paperwork last week.
Proposition 2 1/2 override votes took place in Ashby, Pepperell and Townsend to supplement the operating budget for the North Middlesex Regional School District.
Two of the three district towns needed to pass the override. The vote passed in Pepperell, failed in Townsend, and was successful in Ashby by only three votes.
If the recount shows the override failed in Ashby, the School Committee would need to reassess its budget to decide where to make cuts, or whether a third override should be attempted.
Selectmen Chairman Peter McMurray said that in light of the vote only passing by three votes, he's not surprised the recount was sought, but he's hopeful it'll still pass.
"I mean, three votes is three votes," he said. "If it's right, good job by the counters.
"I wasn't surprised," McMurray added. "I hope it still passes. The school needs the money. Give them a year under a new superintendent, and let's see what happens next year."
McMurray acknowledged that new Superintendent of Schools Joan Landers has many challenges ahead of her but is optimistic things will improve.
"I'm going to give them a chance and see what happens," he said. "It's a different set of eyes, and moving forward she has a lot of challenges."