Residents in both the Brocton and Westfield school districts overwhelming passed a straw vote on Tuesday, June 18 regarding the consolidation of the two districts.
In Brocton, 545 residents voted with 468 in favor and 77 opposed. In Westfield, 676 residents voted with 508 in favor and 168 opposed.
Brocton Superintendent John Hertlein and Westfield Superintendent David Davison were both pleased with the results.
Photo by Diane Chodan
Westfield poll worker Kathy Best guards the voting booth during a straw vote on Tuesday, June 18 to determine if the Westfield and Brocton school districts should continue merger talks. The vote passed in both districts.
Hertlein, who had been pacing prior to the announcement of the final tally, was relieved about the results in Brocton. A few minutes later, Davison called him to report the positive results in Westfield.
"I can't thank the community enough," Hertlein said. "I thank everyone who worked on this."
"I am proud of both communities' response to the needs of the children," Brocton Board of Education President Thomas DeJoe said. "This will lead to a reduction of taxes for both districts. It's a win-win situation."
Straw vote results
Davison's response was similar. He too thanked everyone who worked on the study and noted both communities were mindful of the needs of the students when they voted.
"The voters confirmed what the consultants found in their study," Pete Holt, a Westfield resident who served on the Joint Advisory Committee, said. "I was concerned about the vote, especially since the voters in both districts have rejected previous merger attempts."
While optimism was evident, this was tempered by the fact that a straw vote is an advisory referendum. A binding vote will take place in October.
"This is like the semi- finals," Hertlein said. "Now we have to get ready for the finals. This is just the beginning of a long three months.
Davison echoed Hertlein's sentiment.
"It's important that we remain committed to providing the best education possible," he said. "This is just the beginning."