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Preston officials want to know who sent anonymous postcards from Town Hall

Preston — Town officials are hoping to solve a mystery of who sent out postcards that seem to urge voters to reject the third attempt at passing a school budget at Tuesday's referendum.

The referendum approved the budget by 64 votes Tuesday.

The postcards, with pre-printed address labels, were sent to select Preston residents.

Several town officials who attended Thursday's Board of Selectmen meeting said they did not receive the postcard.

But Democratic Registrar of Voters Joanne Eisenhard received one and presented it to the selectmen.

The postcard listed “Preston Budget Vote, Preston Town Hall, 389 Route 2, Preston, CT 06365” as the return address.

On the opposite side, under a heading that said “Vote Yes,” the postcard listed financial figures if residents approved the budget referendum, including that the town's per-pupil spending would be some $3,000 higher than rates in Lisbon or Franklin.

Under a “Vote No” heading, the information listed included that the budget would be sent back for more review and reduction. It also gave results of the advisory questions on the June 21 referendum that rejected the budget, saying 251 residents advised the town that the budget was too high, and 281 said the budget was “not too low.”

The cards did not list a person or group responsible for paying for the postcards and postage.

Selectman Linwood Crary said it “ticked him off” that an anonymous person claimed Town Hall sent the postcards.

Jan Clancy, Board of Education chairwoman, said residents on social media questioned why Town Hall would send such postcards.

“Do you think it sends a message if you do nothing?” resident Mike Clancy said during public comment Thursday. “I think it's worth a little looking into.”

Crary made a motion that selectmen ask the resident state troopers to investigate the potential source of the postcards. First Selectman Robert Congdon agreed; Selectman Michael Sinko was absent Monday.

Congdon said Town Hall does not have stamps like the ones used on the postcards.

At least some of the postcards arrived at people's homes on Wednesday — the day after the referendum, Crary said.

c.bessette@theday.com

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