Voters dismayed at Deliberative Session

HUDSON – There was palpable frustration among the small group of Hudson voters who turned out Saturday to finalize the school warrant articles before they appear on the ballot next month.

In contrast to a well-attended Town Deliberative Session the previous week, fewer than two dozen voters attended the School Deliberative Session at the Hudson Community Center.

"I think this should be a call to action for all parents to show up," said Lindsay Benson, a mother of three.

Benson, who said she was new to the town, expressed surprise the Hudson School Board proposed cuts to its special education budget, and argued those cuts are not something the town should be proud of.

"This is embarrassing," she said.

An unidentified resident echoed Benson’s concerns about the $52,534,706 operating budget, which is a $168,332 increase over the previous year.

"If you can’t afford an extra $30 on your $500,000 home, you shouldn’t have that home," he said, saying voters who don’t show up to such meetings shouldn’t criticize the board for its budget.

"What’s sad is that there will be more people talking about how bad a job you’re doing at T-Bones tonight than are here today," he said.

School Board Chairwoman Patty Langlais, who presented the operating budget, said it is the second-lowest school district budget in the region, behind only Pelham.

Other than those who weighed in on the proposed operating budget, there was no discussion of the five proposed warrant articles, and no amendments were made.

One of the most significant proposals is a replacement roof for the gymnasium and library at Alvirne High School.

Board member Lee Lavoie said the board is proposing a white rubber roof, which he said lasts the longest and saves the most energy.

Board Vice Chairwoman Stacy Milbouer encouraged voters to show up for the town election on March 14 at the Hudson Community Center.

"It’s the most direct way to affect your children’s education," she said.

Derek Edry can be reached at 594-1243, or @Telegraph_Derek.