Former SAD 21 towns begin withdrawal from RSU 10

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DIXFIELD — Representatives from the four towns that made up the former School Administrative District 21 met with an attorney Thursday night to begin the process of possible withdrawal from Regional School Unit 10.

Belfast attorney Kristin Collins of the law firm of Kelly & Collins LLC, who had represented towns that eventually broke away from the Belfast district, was hired to represent the towns of Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru.

The four towns have raised about $60,000 for the legal steps that would be needed for the potential withdrawal from RSU 10, a figure that Collins said was likely more than needed.

Thursday’s meeting was an organizational one, at which a four-person committee from each former SAD 21 town was selected, and a chairperson for each town elected.

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Each committee is required to have a selectman, a school board member, a petitioner and a member of the general public from each town.

For Peru, committee members are RSU 10 board member Ed Parent, Selectman Lee Merrill, Larry LaPointe and Dan Collins; for Carthage, RSU 10 board member Ronnie Hutchinson, Selectman Bob Weston, Mark Brown, and Kim Dailey; for Canton, RSU 10 member Faith Campbell, Selectman Don Hutchins, Natalie Sneller and Kathy Walker; and for Dixfield, RSU 10 board member Barbara Chow, Selectman Dana Whittemore, Barry Prescott and Scott Belskis.

The group agreed to meet as a whole on Aug. 19 at a Dixfield location to be announced. Between Thursday’s initial meeting and the Aug. 19 meeting, set for 6 p.m., committees from individual towns may meet separately.

Collins said that if findings from the Withdrawal Committee indicate a desire to withdraw from RSU 10, residents in each of the towns must also vote to pull out.

She also recommended that bi-weekly meetings be held by the entire 16-member Withdrawal Committee. She said she will likely attend one of those meetings each month.

Collins also said that a secretary should be appointed to maintain minutes from the meetings of the 16-person Withdrawal Committee.

“We want to keep the public involved,” she said, adding that public notice should be made for all withdrawal meetings.

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