PERU – The Board of Selectmen voted Monday evening to table a vote on the RSU 10 withdrawal agreement.
Previously, the former School Administrative District 21 towns of Dixfield, Canton, Peru and Carthage circulated petitions asking for a vote to form a four-member committee to work on withdrawal negotiations and to appropriate money to fund negotiations, research and analysis of withdrawal agreements.
The goal of each town was to withdraw from RSU 10 and form a new district.
During Monday’s board meeting, Selectman Jim Pulsifer said he disagreed with the wording of one paragraph.
“I have a serious problem with the wording,” Pulsifer said. “The agreement states that the Withdrawal Committee of each town town will join together as a regional withdrawal group. The law states that we have to withdraw from RSU 10 as individual towns before we can join together.”
“We will,” Chairman Lee Merrill said. He serves as chairman of the four-person Peru Withdrawal Committee.
“We’re going to withdraw individually before coming together. Each of the committees is meeting every other Wednesday, as a group, so the lawyer fees don’t go through the roof,” he said.
“I understand what you’re saying, but I have a problem with the language of this contract,” Pulsifer said. “The agreement says that we’ll join together as a regional withdrawal group, and that belies what you said about it being separate. I don’t have a problem with you guys getting together and sharing costs, but it sure sounds like we’d be withdrawing together.”
“I understand that, and if you have an issue with the wording, I can bring it up at our next meeting with the lawyer,” Merrill said. “Now that I read the agreement, I can see what you’re saying: it doesn’t specifically say that we’re withdrawing separately before coming together.”
The board voted 5-0 to table approval of the agreement until Merrill could speak with lawyer Kristin Collins about the wording.
RSU 10 also includes the towns of Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Mexico, Rumford, Byron, Roxbury and Hanover. Byron is also in the process of withdrawing from the district.