ST. JOHNSVILLE - Voters in the Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School District will go to the polls Dec. 11 to reconsider a merger with the St. Johnsville Central School District, according to a news release from O-E?district officials.
State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. this week announced the revote on the binding merger referendum in response to a petition submitted by Oppenheim-Ephratah residents earlier this month.
Polls for the revote will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots will be available at the district clerk's office beginning Monday. By law, all voters must be U.S. citizens, age 18 or older and residents of the district for at least 30 days prior to the vote. Advance registration is not required.
If Oppenheim-Ephratah residents approve the merger this time, the newly merged Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville school district would begin operation July 1, 2013.
St. Johnsville residents will not participate in the revote, as a majority of voters in that district already approved the merger proposal last December.
Information concerning the merger, including newsletters and the original merger study, is available on the O-E website, www.oecs.k12.ny.us (click on "District Information" on the list of links the left of the site).
"I encourage all residents to ask questions and make an informed vote," O-E Superintendent Dan M. Russom said. "Anyone who needs additional information is welcome to call my office and speak with me directly."
Last December, Oppenheim-Ephratah residents voted down the merger in a vote of 458 to 400. St. Johnsville residents approved the merger 461 to 79. State law allows for residents to petition the state Education Department to conduct a revote for school mergers. Residents submitted a petition seeking a revote Nov. 13. If a majority of Oppenheim-Ephratah residents vote "no" on Dec. 11 to approve the merger during the revote, the proposed merger process will come to an end.