ANDOVER — Residents at Tuesday’s referendum voted 217-123 to file a petition for withdrawal from SAD 44, Selectman Jim Adler said Friday evening.

The vote also included filing a petition with the Maine commissioner of education and authorizing the Withdrawal Committee to borrow and spend $15,000 for that purpose.

Adler said he would have liked to have seen a two-thirds approval, which is needed in the final vote for withdrawal from a school district or union.

This will be the second time Andover has considered leaving the district, which also includes Bethel, Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock. The first attempt fell six votes shy of the required two-thirds majority in January.

The withdrawal effort began after the district voted to close Andover Elementary School in 2011 to save money. The school serves about 35 students in grades kindergarten to five.

For the past three years the town has raised money, beyond its annual school assessment, to keep the school open.

In municipal elections Tuesday, Adler won his first three-year term as selectman, garnering 188 votes to 149 for Brian Mills.

Adler said when he ran for the position previously held by Susan Merrow he was chairman of the Planning Board. He said he had no experience as a selectmen but could gain it from his father, who has served decades as an Otisfield selectman.

Tim Akers, who ran unopposed for the school board, was re-elected.

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