In my 30-plus years of service to Barre Town, residents have known me to be an elected official who has always looked out for Barre Town’s best interests. While I have been a staunch opponent of Act 46 from the beginning, at this point, my research and efforts relative to Act 46 indicate the best path forward for our community is to vote “yes” on Article 1 in the Special School vote on Jan. 8, 2019.

The state Board of Education has already taken action imposing the merger of the Barre City and Barre Town schools into a single school district. A “no” vote will not change that outcome. If you vote “no,” the future of our schools and youngsters will be controlled by state bureaucrats who will dictate the rules that guide the daily operations of our schools.

Don’t let a “no” vote take away our best and last chance to control our schools and children’s future. Don’t let a “no” vote take away the significant tax savings for Barre Town taxpayers.

This is a very complicated and contentious issue — one that our leaders in Montpelier should be ashamed of having created. But we can make the best out of a bad situation with a successful vote on Jan. 8. If you have trusted me through my many years of dedicated service, please take my advice — vote “yes” on Article 1.

A minimum of 1,404 “yes” votes is needed to overturn the Nov. 6 vote. And “yes” votes must outnumber the “no” votes. Your vote matters. You can vote early by going to the Barre Town Clerk’s office any day between now and Jan. 8, or by calling the office at 479-9391 or emailing dkelty@barretown.org.

If you want to keep our schools the way they are now, then join me in voting “yes” on Article 1. Don’t let the state of Vermont control the future of our schools.

Jeff Blow lives in Barre Town.

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