JAY — Robert “Bob” Staples was reelected chairman and Don Emery as vice chairman by the Regional School Unit 73 board of directors Thursday evening. Both votes were 7-6.

Staples of Jay has been chairman for a little over five years. His term ends in 2026.

Elections were initially set for April 25 but had to be postponed due to Livermore not electing representatives to the board on April 23. Livermore selectpersons Tuesday appointed Directors Holly Morris and Andrew Sylvester, both of Livermore, to one-year terms.

Sylvester asked Staples why he wants to remain chairman.

“I think that I have the time to do it,” Staples said. “It is a large time commitment. I know the process quite well, having done it for as long as I have.”

Director Roger Moulton of Livermore Falls said Staples has in the past mentioned the possibility retiring. “I think it would be best to pass the torch prior to your leaving,” he said, suggesting Staples become vice chairman, which would give two years to train another person.


Morris wondered if there was room for improvement, more transparency, more discussion among directors and unity with Staples as chairman.

“As I have said in the past, if anybody has any questions, they can always contact me,” Staples said. “I have always talked with anybody who has done that, so I think I have been quite transparent. I am always willing to learn.”

A training session is being planned for the fall, he said, and directors will meet with the school district’s attorney to talk about procedure and answer any questions.

Voting for Staples were himself, Sylvester, Elaine Fitzgerald, Tina Riley and Bryan Riley, all of Jay, and former Vice Chairwoman Robin Beck and Lenia Coates, both of Livermore Falls.

Voting against were Jodi Cordes of Jay, Morris, Moulton, Tasha Perkins of Livermore, Dawn Strout of Jay and Emery of Livermore Falls.

Emery said his reason for accepting the nomination for vice chairman was because, “I have got the time, I am willing to put in the work. I do care about this community, I am very passionate about what is going on and I want to work.”

He has three grandsons in district schools and a granddaughter soon to be.

Voting for Emery were himself, Cordes, Morris, Moulton, Perkins, Strout and Sylvester. Voting against were Beck, Coates, Fitzgerald, Staples, Bryan Riley and Tina Riley.

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