As a result, the region will miss the June 30 filing date for state funds for a building project.
On June 4, supporters of going forward with a vote on a consolidated elementary school for Roxbury, Bridgewater and Washington failed to garner enough support for a new hearing, which could have led to a referendum vote.
Just three members of the 12-member board voted to schedule a new hearing -- Chairman Irene Allan, Jim Hirschfield and Sheila Gross, who did not seek re-election.
Board members heard several public pleas for giving residents a choice of options at any referendum vote, as well as requests to reschedule a single vote.
"It's time to turn the page," Roxbury First Selectwoman Barbara Henry said, commenting on the "character assassination" of Roxbury board member Gary Steinman who has not been re-elected.
His actions on the board were attacked in a controversial mailing that was sent by a Bridgewater-based political action committee prior to the May 30 election of Roxbury's Region 12 school board members.
In July, Roxbury residents Andy Engel and Kelly Lott, who have publicly supported retaining three schools, will begin four-year terms on the board.
"What happened can't be overlooked," Mrs. Henry said, remarking the only way she can see to turn the page is to hold a vote on all options -- a consolidated primary school and retaining renovated and expanded primary schools in each town.
She said if the choices could not be on the same ballot, the board should consider exploring two referendum votes.
Former Washington board member Peter Tagley, however, argued it should not be a contest between three buildings and one.
He said three school plans failed in two votes last year and to bring that choice back makes the issue more contentious in the region.
He said a vote on a single consolidated school should stand on its own merit.
Tony Bedini, who supports consolidation, also joins the board July 1 representing Washington. Larry O'Toole did not seek re-election.
Board chairman Irene Allan said missing the June 30 deadline to get plans filed with the state does not prevent the board from moving forward, getting funding approval and beginning to work with an architect on detailed plans to be reviewed by the state as soon as possible.
She said she's been wrestling in her own mind with how to proceed.
Ms. Allan said the school board would change "dramatically" July 1. She said the current board could correct the technical error before the board changes and send a vote for consolidation out for a July vote by acting Monday.
The chairman noted the board would be adding more people who favor three-schools and questioned whether the reconfigured board would treat consolidation "fairly" and go forward with a vote on consolidation.
An upset fellow member Matt Franjola called Ms. Allan's comments "preposterous."
Mr. Engel said the division over the elementary school issue has left the region in "a regrettable state of affairs."
He said if the board presents consolidation and three-school plans and lets voters choose, supporters of each proposal will know their choice had a fair hearing.
Washington cell tower meeting Thursday
By Lynda Wellman
Washington has hired an attorney and technology expert to give advice as Verizon seeks state approval for a cell tower in the town.
A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday (June 21) in Washington town hall regarding Verizon's application currently before the Siting Council for the construction, maintenance and operation of a telecommunications facility at 6 Mountain Road or 167 New Milford Turnpike in Washington.
At the hearing, the Siting Council will listen to evidence on Verizon's argument that the public need for the facility outweighs any adverse environmental effects.
The applicant, parties, and intervenors will have an opportunity to cross-examine positions at a 3 p.m. session in Bryan Memorial Town Hall.
The public can make brief statements at a 7 p.m. continued session also in the town hall.
Some residents believe if possible sites under consideration in Northville and Warren get towers, then there may not be a need for a Washington tower to complete continuous coverage in the Route 202 corridor.
In April, Washington First Selectman Dick Sears requested that the town be named an intervenor saying the municipality is obligated to protect the "health, safety and welfare of its citizens and the natural environment."
The finance board has authorized $10,000 to hire attorney Stephen Smart and engineer Walter Cooper to represent the town's interests during the hearing.
They will review the Verizon application and verify technical information.
AT T has sought sites in Washington for a tower since 2002, supports the need for a tower in the New Preston area and has also sought intervenor status.
Emergency Services personnel in the region have expressed concern about lack of coverage in the town.
Mr. Smart has said if Verizon can show a need for a tower, the Siting Council is likely to approve it unless the town can offer a viable alternative site.
Before the hearing begins, members of the Siting Council will conduct a public field review of the proposed sites beginning at 2 p.m.
The applicant is expected to fly balloons during the field review, weather permitting, to simulate the heights of the proposed facilities.
Written statements may be filed with the Council at the hearing or within 30 days following the close of the hearing.
The Siting Council will make a verbatim transcript of the hearing and file it with the Town Clerk's Office.