RIPLEY - By a margin of 20 votes, the residents of the Ripley school district, voted to allow the Board of Education to enter into a contract with another New York state school district for the education of all Ripley students in grades seven through 12.
Voting on the proposition took place in the school's distance learning lab from noon through 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voters used the optical scan machine. Voting was supervised by Marie McCutcheon, district clerk. Those voting signed in and had to show identification.
Promptly at 8 p.m., McCutcheon announced that the polls were closed. The door to the learning lab was locked while officials ran the tape from the optical scan machine and counted absentee ballots.
Shortly thereafter, Robert Bentley, president of the Ripley Board of Education, came out with the results. He first read the proposition. Next he reported the results. Yes votes, which would allow the Board of Education to contract with another New York state school district for the education of students in grades seven through 12, totaled 282. That number included five absentee ballots.
Those opposing the idea numbered 262, which included eight absentee ballots.
Bentley kept his comments brief. "Thank you to the community," he said. "We have a direction and we will move forward."
Board member Ted Rickenbrode was also present when the results were announced. He said he was happy with the outcome. "We've been trying since 1992 (to do something). It's a matter of numbers."
Asked when negotiations will begin Superintendent Karen Krause said, "Right away. We will be reaching out."
Earlier that evening Krause spoke about the positive experiences that Ripley students who attend Chautauqua Lake have had. While the board is not limited to negotiating with Chautauqua Lake, this will be the first avenue explored.