JAY — Regional School Unit 73 directors voted Thursday to hold an online budget informational meeting June 23 and a budget vote July 14.

The budget meeting was originally scheduled June 15, but state rules restricting gatherings to 50 people or less to stop the spread of the coronavirus made that unworkable.

The June 3 Executive Order by Gov. Janet Mills suspends school budget meetings this year, provided an opportunity for public comment is provided. The meeting will be held via Zoom, with access information posted on the district’s website by Monday, June 15.

Traditionally voters in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls vote on each budget article at the meeting and have a validation referendum later.

“The governor doesn’t want us to have district budget meetings,” Superintendent Scott Albert said. “She wants us to have hearings instead, go straight to referendum for a vote after we have a hearing explaining to people what’s actually in our budget. They will not get a chance to vote (at that meeting).

“I’m kind of disappointed,” he said. “Our country is based on people having a chance to express themselves by voting. But that’s what our governor has decided for us to do at this point in time.”

School board Chairman Bob Staples said there will be a vote on the entire budget this year, but not on each individual warrant article.

“I agree with Scott Albert,” Director Andrew Sylvester said. “This is a terrible precedence for not having an open floor with public comments/voting on people’s taxes and education.”

“The meeting is now informaitonal only,” Director Michael Morrell said. “People will still get a lot of good information.

“I hope we can get a better turnout than we have in the past,” he said.

In other business the board approved the hiring the following staff:

  • Carolyn Luce of New Sharon, principal at Spruce Mountain Middle School. She teaches at Skowhegan Middle School and has 12 years of teaching experience.
  • Kelsey Brann of Jay, first grade teacher at Spruce Mountain Primary School. A first-year teacher, she did her student teaching at the primary school.
  • Jessica Jewett of Jay, school nurse for the middle and high schools. She worked the past 12 years at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington.
  • Scott McDaniel of Livermore, special education teacher in the behavior program at Spruce Mountain Middle School. A Livermore Falls High School graduate, he works at Mt. Ararat Middle School in Topsham.

 


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