$67 million Mega School
Over the past 20 years only two Town Meeting actions have been challenged by referendum (and failed) where enough signatures have been collected within the short five day deadline to force it on the local election ballot.
That alone is a major hurdle, requiring 5% of the registered voters to sign a petition. But the most challenging aspect of the crusade is the state requires "the people" to meet the same standard imposed on Representative Town Meeting, in this case two-thirds support.
"A question put to the voters at large under the provisions of this section shall be determined by a vote of the same proportion of voters voting thereon as would have been required by law had the question been finally determined at a representative town meeting."
Behind the scenes email exchanges, including elected officials
The only local elections to attract over 18% turnout over the past generation involved Charter change (twice) -- aka replace Town Meeting/Select Board with Mayor/Council -- or pocketbook Override questions.
And none of those outcomes were decided by much more than a 55/45% margin. And both of the referendum of Town Meeting attempts failed to pass after all the effort to get it on the ballot.
In fact this Mega School question already went to the voters on the November 8th ballot and only barely won a simply majority and even then by less than 1%.
It would be one thing if town officials were simply performing due diligence with no downside. But that is far from the case, because in order to take this foolhardy desperate last stand we will lose one full year gaining Mass School Building Authority approval for a new and better plan.
The bigger the risk the bigger the reward I suppose. Something I would expect from President Trump but not so much from our overly enlightened local government.
House on busy Rt 116