SALEM TOWNSHIP — The Regional School Unit 58 board was told Thursday night of a petition being circulated that calls for Dan Worcester to step down as chairman.

A total of 126 people from Strong, Phillips, Avon, Kingfield, Carrabassett Valley and Eustis have signed the petition, stating they do not have confidence in Worcester’s leadership. The documents began circulating in the past two weeks since the board’s last meeting.

“With this signed Declaration of No Confidence we ask that the board chair step down immediately and serve out the remainder of his term as board member, not as chairman,” resident and parent Christy Haynes of Strong said. “If he does not do this voluntarily, we charge the board with carrying out this request by way of vote, in executive session if necessary.”

The board should then decide how to proceed, she said, and, if Vice Chairman Jason Plog is not an appropriate choice to repair the confidence and trust of the board in the hearts of the taxpayers, the board should then choose a leader who will offer a more positive attitude.

The board made no comment regarding Haynes’ request.

Haynes said 125 voters passed the school board’s budget last year.

“One hundred twenty-five doesn’t sound like a significantly large number, but that’s all it took to get our district to turn out at the polls and agree to the recommendations of the board,” she said.

Passing the budget is the most important task of the superintendent and the board, in order to get the estimated $2.8 million in state funding, she said.

“The school board’s job every year at this time is to convince the taxpayers to raise more than $3.8 million,” she said. “A finance committee of five people advised a board of 14 that a budget of more than $ 9 million is the most responsible use of taxpayer contributions to provide the best quality education that our area can afford.”

That responsibility comes with a strong obligation to keep the public’s trust, she said.

“If 125 people had not trusted completely the work of the board last year, the budget would’ve failed,” she said. “Therefore, 125 is an extremely significant number.”

Worcester also serves on the five-member Budget Committee that is developing the 2015-2016 budget, she said. “The significance of 126 should be clear to everyone, but this number is only the beginning of our petition,” she said.

“We remind the board that the community is concerned and is watching very closely as of late to see how you maneuver our schools through the challenges that we are facing.”

She said the community members expect the 14-member board to pay more attention to taxpayers’ concerns.

Later in the meeting, Superintendent Erica Brouillet reported that Kingfield Selectman John Dill contacted her on behalf of the five selectmen. The town would see an increase of $85,000, based on preliminary figures in the 2015-2016 budget discussions.

Brouillet also said she had accepted the resignation of high school math teacher Monica Clark and Business Manager Luci Milewski.

Brouillet said she also is reviewing applications to fill the positions of food service director and technology director, which were filled by Angel Allen.


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