The Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative (BANC) will host a public forum with candidates running for the MSAD 44 School Board on Tuesday, May 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Crescent Park Elementary School. Residents from all four towns in the school district will vote for all open school board seats on voting day, June 12, 2018. This forum gives voters the opportunity to meet the candidates and to learn about their interests and relevancy to serving on the school board. All community members are invited to attend.

This forum is the first event offered through BANC’s new program, Community ConversationsThis program provides the community with in-person, facilitated opportunities to learn about and discuss local issues and topics of interest. Community Conversations is a forum for respectful dialogue without decisions nor vote casting. These conversations provide face-to-face experiences for community members to better understand diverse perspectives and explore creative solutions.

MSAD 44 recently restructured the board to 15 members with Bethel continuing to have six seats, Greenwood and Woodstock continuing to have three seats, and Newry moving from two to three seats. Weighted voting was eliminated, and each member now has one vote. Also, the election process for board members has been modified. All candidates are now required to take out nomination papers by a certain date. Write-in candidates must receive at least 25 votes to be considered.

“Given these changes, it is an opportune time to begin a new practice of giving voters the chance to learn more about the candidates before voting day and BANC is pleased to provide this service for the community,” says Amy Scott, BANC facilitator.

Anyone considering running as a write-in candidate on election day is encouraged to participate in the forum. Please contact Amy Scott at [email protected] or 207-357-3189 for more information.

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