MILLINOCKET, Maine — Town leaders emerged from an executive session on Thursday and named a replacement to succeed Arnold Hopkins on the Millinocket School Committee.
With Councilor John Raymond abstaining, the Town Council voted 6-0-1 to name Warren Steward to replace Hopkins, who was the committee’s chairman when he abruptly resigned his position last month. Raymond did not say why he abstained.
Steward was among four residents who sought to replace Hopkins on the school board, councilors said. Councilor Bryant Davis — no relation to council Chairman John Davis — praised the quality of the volunteers.
“The town would be lucky to have any of the four of them,” Councilor Michael Madore said.
Council members had expressed concerns about the sudden resignation of Hopkins on Dec. 21. Hopkins most recently had made the news by saying school leaders had instituted a spending freeze in anticipation of a predicted $140,000-$150,000 shortfall caused partly by the school system’s failure to meet its goals for tuition-paying Chinese students at Stearns High School.
Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Smith has said the school system doesn’t have a shortfall but that school workers were doing everything they could to avert one.
Committee member Kevin Gregory succeeded Hopkins as chairman of the school committee.