Voters in the north of Boston town of Saugus Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a $5.2 million override of Proposition 2 1/2, a move that could force the layoff of dozens of town workers, as well as close the town senior center and end youth programs, officials said.
The final tally was 2,180 in favor to 4,572 opposed. The special election -- the largest override request in the state this spring -- drew 40 percent of the town's 17,000 registered voters to the polls.
"I am more disappointed than surprised," Town Manager Andrew R. Bisignani said. "The voters have spoken. They have given us a mandate. We will do what we have to do to comply."
Bisignani said major cuts, such as eliminating 18 teaching jobs, will be required to balance next year's $60 million operating budget. A ballooning deficit in the town's health insurance account, which is approaching $3 million, is mostly to blame for the town's financial problems.
-- Kathy McCabe
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