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Newport town officials have not been clear on plans related to the regionalization proposed under Question #5. I have read numerous articles and listened to a number of town official podcast interviews. Many interviewees express uncertainty and confusion on the overall plan. The main benefit described is receiving 80% reimbursement from the state under regionalization, versus 52% without regionalization. This sounds attractive to many who assume the added reimbursement will substantially decrease Newport’s debt payments. However, the Newport Mayor, Newport Council Vice Chair and School Superintendent have described a plan to use the reimbursement “savings” for operating purposes for the town and/or schools. This budget increase through increased debt is not something I would support.

Question #5 is a financially-focused plan, apparently to increase budgets, rather than a student-focused plan to improve the education of Newport and Middletown students. Both towns need to work out a better plan for true regionalization, not administrative regionalization. Please vote no on Question #5 and send it back to the drawing board!

By John Greichen

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