Glenburn, Veazie set dates for public hearings on school district withdrawal

Posted Aug. 26, 2012, at 2:52 p.m.

GLENBURN, Maine — Both Glenburn and Veazie received conditional approval last week for their plans to withdraw from the school district they share with Orono.

The Maine Department of Education suggested a few minor word changes, and withdrawal committees from both towns and the RSU 26 board of directors accepted those recommendations during a Thursday night meeting.

Public hearings have been set for residents of both towns to share their thoughts about the proposals. Veazie will hold its public hearing at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Veazie Community School, 1040 School St., Veazie.

Glenburn’s hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the Glenburn School, 991 Hudson Road, Glenburn.

Both withdrawal agreements are posted on the school district’s website at riversidersu.org under the “RSU Info” tab. Copies of the documents also are available at Orono, Veazie and Glenburn town halls, as well as the school district’s business office at 991 Hudson Road in Glenburn. Residents may review the plans before the public meetings and November’s vote.

If the number of voters in November meets or exceeds 50 percent of the number of residents who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election, and a majority of those voters back the withdrawal, then the withdrawals would succeed.

Members of the withdrawal committees said they have been pushing to have the plans ready by the November election, because otherwise it would be difficult to draw the number of voters required for a successful withdrawal.

“I’m a little surprised that the DOE has worked as quickly as they have,” Glenburn withdrawal committee member and Town Councilor Michael O’Connor said Friday. “At one point, I wouldn’t have considered this possible.”

Negotiations between the withdrawal groups and the school board began in May.

Residents in Veazie and Glenburn voted overwhelmingly in March to form committees to enter withdrawal discussions with the school district.

Glenburn tallied 325 votes in favor of beginning the withdrawal process. Only 33 voters were opposed. In Veazie, 173 voters approved the question, while 36 fellow residents voted against it.

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