Ballot Question on Schools Likely to Create Campaigns

By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.

With the ballot question date now set for Lynn voters to consider a voluntary tax increase to build two new schools – to serve Pickering Middle School and West Lynn students – proponents and opponents have already begun organizing campaigns to influence voters.

The Special Election will be held on March 14, with a single ballot question asking voters to support an estimated $75 million tax increase, or roughly $200 a year per average household, to build a 652-student school on Breed Pond Reservoir and a 1,008-student school on McManus Field on Commercial Street.

Residents of the Pine Hill neighborhood near Breeds Pond Reservoir have organized an effort called Protect Our Reservoir – Preserve Pine Grove Community Group, in an apparent effort to stop a school from being built on or near the reservoir. The group has argued that the land the city has planned to build the new school on was intended to be part of the cemetery and should remain such, and are urging local officials to find an alternative site.

On the other side of the issue parents with children in several Lynn schools, including Aborn, Shoemaker, Lynn Woods, Sisson, Cobbet, Connery and Washington STEM are largely expected to support building new schools to serve their children.

A spokesperson from the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF), Jason Tait, said this week that his department would be offering a one-night seminar (Wednesday, Feb. 22) to members of the public who wished to learn more about campaign finance rules and campaign committees.

The one-hour seminar at Lynn Police Station was planned for 6:30 p.m.

“We have a sense that residents in Lynn are very interested in the campaign finance rules, based on the number of calls we have been getting,” said Tait.

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