Westbrook voters passed the $43.9 million school budget Tuesday and upheld the right to continue to weigh in on school spending.

Resident Luis Perez casts his ballot at the Community Center Tuesday where voters upheld the school budget. Chance Viles / American Journal

The total voter turnout was 1,353, representing 9.1% of Westbrook’s total voter population at 14,872.

Of those voters, 1,088 affirmed the school budget with 244 against. The vote on continuing to hold the school budget validation vote was 1,072 to 267.

“I am always pro education, it’s the foundation of our city,” voter Cynthia Tobiassen told the American Journal at the polls.

“I was in favor. I felt they put in a lot of thought, worked on it awhile, made the cuts they needed, so I supported it,” voter Tom Valente said.

The budget for the upcoming school year is up $1.8 million over this year’s, for a 4.3% increase.

City Council President Anna Turcotte and Councilor Gary Rairdon were opposed to the budget, citing concerns about unmanageable growth in the school department.

The combined municipal and school budget at roughly $74 million represents a growth of 1.5% and increases the property tax rate by 27 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. That would mean a tax bill increase of $62.48 for the owner of an average-priced home of $231,400, according to Mayor Mike Foley.

Election workers wait for voters during a slow Election Day Tuesday. Voter turnout was 9.1%. Chance Viles / American Journal

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