OXFORD — The SAD 17 budget presentation for Oxford and Otisfield residents Tuesday night was attended by one Oxford official and five from Otisfield.

Some Oxford selectmen said they were where they needed to be Tuesday night: at a town Budget Committee meeting. Joining them was SAD 17 board Chairman Ron Kugell, who is a member of the Budget Committee.

“It’s a waste of time going to those meetings,” Oxford Selectman Jay Goforth said Wednesday morning. “Their minds are already made up.”

Goforth said he and other selectmen attend the annual SAD 17 budget hearing and vote in June. Speaking for himself, he said it was more important to attend the Budget Committee meeting than the preliminary school budget presentation.

Oxford Selectman Roger Jackson agreed, saying the town Budget Committee meetings give selectmen an opportunity to discuss the budget, hear explanations and make suggestions.

As for the school budget meeting, he said, “I don’t believe we get a lot out of it.”


Although the school budget represents the majority of Oxford property tax bills, Jackson said, the budget is a given. “It’s established,” he said.

Attending from Otisfield were Selectmen Hal Ferguson, Rick Micklon and Len Adler, Finance Committee Chairman Quentin Henderson and SAD 17 Director Joe Vaillancourt.

Also present were SAD 17 Directors Judy Green of Waterford and Curtis Cole of Paris, Tiffany Karnes, principal of Oxford and Otisfield elementary schools, Business Manager Cathy Fanjoy and Superintendent Rick Colpitts.

Otisfield officials asked questions about the proposed $39.1 million spending plan for 2016-17, which Colpitts said is not “written in stone.”

It’s 2.32 percent more than the $38.2 million for this fiscal year.

Henderson asked what steps the district had taken to reduce workers’ compensation costs and the need for $7 million in facilities improvements.


“Anyone who didn’t know we were kicking the can down the road hasn’t been participating (in the budget process,)” Colpitts said. “It was just a matter of time before it caught up with us.”

He has proposed a $1.2 million bond that would fund repairs, including the roof of the Guy E. Rowe Elementary School in Norway and paving at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris.


SAD 17 budget hearings, votes

April 14, 7 p.m., Hebron Station School, budget presentation for Hebron and West Paris residents.

April 26, 7 p.m., Paris Elementary School, budget presentation for Paris and Norway residents.


April 27, 6 p.m., Central Office, 232 Main St., Paris, Budget Committee finalizes figures.

May 2, 7 p.m., Central Office, board of directors vote on budget.

June 6, 6 p.m., Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, Paris, public hearing on $1.2 million bond for buildings/grounds improvements.

June 9, 7 p.m., Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Forum, districtwide budget hearing and vote on a line-by-line warrant.

June 14, budget validation and bond referendum at polling stations in Norway, Paris, Oxford, Otisfield, Harrison, Hebron, Waterford and West Paris.

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