Brocton, Westfield Overwhelmingly Support Continued Merger Talks

Residents in both the Brocton and Westfield school districts overwhelmingly supported the consolidation of the two districts in the straw vote held Tuesday. In Brocton, 545 residents voted, 468 in favor and 77 opposed. In Westfield, 676 residents voted, 508 in favor and 168 opposed.

Brocton Superintendent John Hertlein and Westfield Superintendent David Davison were both pleased with the results.

Hertlein, who had been pacing prior to the announcement of the final tally, was relieved about the results in Brocton. A few minutes later, Davison called him to report the positive results in Westfield.

Hertlein said, “I can’t thank the community enough. I thank everyone who worked on this.”

Brocton Board of Education President Thomas DeJoe said, “I am proud of both communities’ response to the needs of the children. This will lead to a reduction of taxes for both districts. It’s a win-win situation.”

Davison’s response was similar. He, too, thanked everyone who worked on the study and noted both communities were mindful of the needs of the students when they voted.

Pete Holt, a Westfield resident who served on the Joint Advisory Committee, said, “The voters confirmed what the consultants found in their study. I was concerned about the vote, especially since the voters in both districts have rejected previous merger attempts.”

While optimism was evident, this was tempered by the fact that a straw vote is an advisory referendum. In October a binding vote will take place.

Hertlein said, “This is like the semi-finals. Now we have to get ready for the finals. This is just the beginning of a long three months.

Davison echoed this saying, “It’s important that we remain committed to providing the best education possible. This is just the beginning.”