RUMFORD – Residents of 12 area towns will choose 17 representatives to sit on the board of the new Western Foothills School District on Jan. 15. All but the town of Sumner will vote in referendum.

The new district is comprised of SAD 21, which is made up of Dixfield, Canton, Carthage and Peru; SAD 39, Buckfield, Hartford and Sumner; SAD 43, Byron, Mexico, Roxbury and Rumford; and the unaffiliated town of Hanover.

SAD 43 Superintendent and Western Maine Foothills District interim secretary, Jim Hodgkin, said a new superintendent for the new district could be in place as early as February, or as late as the end of March. He is not a candidate for the position. Of the three districts’ superintendents, only SAD 21 Superintendent Tom Ward has announced his intention to apply. Rick Colpitts leads SAD 39.

All three current superintendents and board members from SADs 21, 39 and 43 will serve until July 1. The new board will decide how to hire a new superintendent, elect officers, begin the process of setting up subcommittees, meeting places and times, and other organizational matters.

Hodgkin has suggested a tentative date for the new board’s first meeting for Feb. 3. However, he said the first meeting date must be set by the state.

Five of the candidates for seats on the new board also served on the Reorganizational Planning Committee, the group that wrote the plan for the consolidated district. They are: Maida Demers-Dobson, Buckfield, who is also a SAD 39 board member, for a one-year term. She is being challenged through a write-in vote by Nicholas DiMaio, also a SAD 39 board member; John Phillips, Sumner, SAD 39 board member, one-year term; Linda Berry, Carthage, SAD 21 board member, three-year term; Barbara Chow, Dixfield, SAD 21 board member, two-year term; Jessica Hines, Peru, SAD 21 board member, three-year term.

Several other candidates are also members of their respective boards. They are: Peter Zanoni, Mexico, SAD 43 board, three-year term; Tracey Higley, Rumford, SAD 43, one-year term; Jeff Sterling, Rumford, SAD 43, two-year term; Marcia Chaisson, Rumford, SAD 43, three-year term; Dan Force, Hanover, Hanover School Committee, three-year term; Jerry Wiley, Buckfield, SAD 39 chairman, two-year term; Armand Rowe, Hartford, SAD 39, three-year term; Cindy Bissell, Canton, SAD 21, two-year term; and Bruce Ross, Dixfield, SAD 21, one-year term.

Running to fill a two-year term representing Byron is Chris Edmunds. No one returned nomination papers for a one-year term to represent Mexico, but Region 9 School of Applied Technology member, Randy Canwell, has announced that he is seeking the seat through a write-in vote. No one has come forward to represent Roxbury for a two-year term.

Sumner will hold a special town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, at the town office to elect its representative. Polling times and places for the remaining 11 towns are:

Buckfield – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Town Office;

Byron – noon to 6 p.m., Town office;

Canton – noon to 6 p.m., Town Office;

Carthage – noon to 6 p.m., Town Office;

Dixfield – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., American Legion Hall;

Hanover – noon to 6 p.m., Town Office;

Hartford – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Town Hall;

Mexico – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Town Hall;

Peru – noon to 6 p.m., Town Office;

Roxbury – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Town Office;

Rumford: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., American Legion Hall.



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