BETHEL — Voters on Tuesday passed the School Administrative District 44 budget of $10.98 million, which is a 3.73 percent increase over last year’s budget.

The budget passed by 22 votes. 

Student support and special education budgets received the largest increase, and teachers will receive a salary bump of 1.5 percent.

Superintendent David Murphy’s salary will increase by 3 percent.

Lloyd Sweetser was re-elected to serve on the Bethel Board of Selectmen, and Lori Swain won the other open seat, previously held by Pat Carter.

According to Sweetser and Swain, the biggest issue Bethel currently faces is the legalization of marijuana, and Sweetser said the board is currently working on honoring residents’ wishes regarding the new recreational possibilities. 

The two slots for a three-year term on the SAD 44 board of directors seats were won by Director Amy Forbes DeVivo and John Walker, whose seat was previously held by Roberta Taylor, who chose not to run for re-election.

Darcy Lambert ran unopposed and won the one-year term on the SAD 44 board.

Forbes and Lambert said in an interview that Newry’s potential withdrawal is the biggest issue facing the school in their opinion, while Walker said he would focus on appropriate use of technology in the classrooms.

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