FARMINGTON — Instead of a formal vote Tuesday, RSU 9 school directors gave a thumbs up to change the date of the budget validation vote to June 10 to coincide with state primary elections.

The yes-or-no referendum was initially set for May 22.

Superintendent Tom Ward told the board that representatives from a couple of the 10 towns in the district asked if the referendum date could be changed to coincide with the state primary election. The change would help the towns save money. It would also bring more people out to vote, he said.

The downside is that the date is much later than planned and the board will have to wait to see if the proposed budget for 2014-15 passes. The proposed spending plan is expected to be unveiled the last week in March.

Directors Steve Bunker of Farmington and Helen Wilkey of Vienna said the towns would like to have the date changed so there would only be one referendum instead of two within a month.

If the budget doesn’t pass in June, there will be a lot of meetings in June to get another budget drafted, Director Claire Andrews of Farmington said.

“Historically, we try to have the vote as early as possible,” Chairman Mark Prentiss of Industry said.

The board has to be aware of economics if members want voters to support the budget, Director Iris Silverstein of Farmington said.

“I think you will have a huge turnout,” Director Jennifer Zweig Hebert of Starks said.

If the vote fails, there will not be another vote until August, Ward said.

The board agreed to change the date to June 10.

The board opened its meeting with a moment of silence for Director Robert Flick of Farmington, who died March 4. Board members said he was a wonderful person.

“He always challenged us and made us smile,” Andrews said.

Ward also announced that Director William “Bill” Reid of New Sharon submitted his resignation as of June 30. He has been on the school board for about eight years.

“I’m glad I did it,” Reid said of his service. He plans to go to South Carolina to spend time during the year with his daughter and grandchildren. His wife already does that, he said.

Reid said the New Sharon Board of Selectmen told him they will appoint someone to fill the position from July 1 to the next election in March 2015.

Ward also said the preliminary state funding for the school district has been received. However, he and Business Manager Kris Pottle are looking into whether there is an error regarding Title 1 money, he said.

The two are combined, with the money the district receives from Title 1 subtracted from the district’s state funding.

Now, combining the two, the preliminary figures show the district would receive a little less than it had in the current budget, he said.

The Legislature still has to pass a budget and Pottle said he has heard some are threatening to dip into school funding.

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