Last night, before a crowd that multiple members called larger than normal, the Borough Assembly failed to override Mayor Larry DeVilbiss’ veto of $350,000 for funding of the borough’s preschool program. The vote was four-to-three. Five votes are needed to override a mayoral veto. Assembly Members Beck, Sykes, Halter, and Colver voted to overturn the veto, and Assembly Members Salmon, Colligan, and Arvin voted to maintain the veto.
The vote came after almost exactly an hour of public testimony, the large majority of which supported overturning the mayor’s veto. The preschool program serves schools in the borough not funded by the federal Head Start program, including the Upper Valley’s programs. The $350,000 is about forty percent of what is needed to fund the program borough-wide. The Mat-Su Borough School District is currently pursuing grant funding for the remaining $500,000.