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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Referendum Petition Drive to Cut Budget by $5 Million Falls Short

An attempt by Westporter Michael Gilbertie to force a referendum to cut the towns budget by $5 million has fallen short—by at least 120 signatures.

Town Clerk Patricia H. Strauss said today that Gilbertie turned in 1,473 signatures Җ unverified and needed 1,593 by Tuesday to achieve his goal.

She said Gilbertie submitted almost 300 signatures Tuesday night to Selectman John Izzo in a last-minute attempt to support his drive for a referendum on whether to shrink next year’s $128.6 million budget.

Last year, the 63-year-old Gilbertie also failed in a petition drive for a referendum to cut $40 million of the $73 million approved for rebuilding and renovating Staples High School.

He thought he had 30 more signatures than he needed to force a referendum, but he ended up 97 short after the registrars disqualified some.

Strauss said there would be no examination of signatures submitted on Gilbertie’s latest effort to determine how many were valid. “He didn’t get enough for us to do that,” she said.

Gilbertie֒s two failed attempts to force referendums came following a town charter change which increased from one week to 14 days the time period petitioners had to gather signatures for a referendum.

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Posted 05/21/03 at 12:48 PM  Permalink



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