VEAZIE, Maine — The new board of Regional School Unit 26 got business started last week.
In the first meeting of representatives from Glenburn, Orono and Veazie, the board decided to look first internally rather than hold an outside search for a new superintendent.
The RSU combines the Glenburn School Department with School Union 87, which comprises Orono and Veazie.
Meeting at the Veazie Community School, the board was given a first look at the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Current School Union 87 Superintendent Kelly Clenchy and Glenburn School Superintendent Doug Smith presented a proposed budget of $20,331,369 for fiscal year 2010. The budget for the upcoming year represents an increase of 1.1 percent, or $215,797, from the current year’s budget.
The board also decided to look at Clenchy and Smith first for the superintendent’s position. Both men are under contract until 2011, although Smith will go to three days a week starting July 1 of this year. The consensus was that with two superintendents under contract for two more years, the expenses of an external search and hiring a third administrator was something the RSU could not afford in uncertain economic times.
“[Clenchy and Smith] were hired for the jobs,” said board member Leo Kenney of Orono. “The job description might change, so it’s fair to reconsider a little bit, but the natural thing to do is to look internally first.”
Frances Neubauer, an RSU board member from Orono, voted against starting with an internal search.
“We are bound by due diligence to do an external search, to all the taxpayers,” she said.
Board members tabled a decision about group life insurance availability for some RSU employees.
Rose Thompson, the current chairwoman of the Glenburn School Committee, was elected the board chairwoman, with Gavin Batchelder of Veazie tabbed for vice chairman. The RSU, after Smith’s recommendation, will use Bangor Savings Bank for banking services and Maine School Management Association for insurance.
The board is also exploring options for a central office, but made no decision. Smith told the board there is space available in Glenburn, but it probably won’t be enough to accommodate special education.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 21, in the library of the Glenburn School. Budget approval is expected at that time so the Glenburn, Orono and Veazie town councils can approve the final numbers and a public referendum can be held in each town at the end of June.