As New Milford voters head back to the polls for Tuesday's second try at a budget (see story, Page S1 and this page), there's still emotional baggage on board from last month's voting process.

Town Council member Tom Esposito has been told the "Vote Yes" buttons his children wore home on their backpacks before the May 25 balloting had not come from their school, John Pettibone.

Mr. Esposito said he spoke with Pettibone principal Paula Kelleher, who checked into the issue and assured him the buttons had not been given out by any of her faculty or staff.

Still, Mr. Esposito complained about the buttons at May 24's council meeting.

"The buttons were not given out at my daughters' school," Mr. Esposito said in a voice mail left with The Spectrum. "I had parents comment to me that their kids were being used to shepherd home material advocating a `yes' vote (on the education budget) from other schools. I do not think that is appropriate."

Ms. Kelleher said Thursday, "I was glad Mr. Esposito was gracious enough to give me time to chat about this and to get to the bottom of things. I determined that the buttons did not come from my school."

Superintendent of Schools JeanAnn Paddyfote confirmed Wednesday no flyers or buttons advocating a "yes" vote on the budget were given out at any district school.

PTO president Angie Chastain said, "Nothing was sent home with kids through the PTO advocating for a `yes' vote on the referendum."

By state statute, it is illegal for schoolchildren to be used as couriers for advocacy information, according to the State Elections Enforcement website.