School district called ‘deceitful and dishonest’ by Wiscasset residents pushing for withdrawal

Posted Jan. 04, 2013, at 4:22 p.m.

WISCASSET, Maine — A Regional School Unit 12 attorney has stated that Wiscasset can’t withdraw from the school unit until the 2013-14 calendar year.

The town committee seeking to negotiate that withdrawal isn’t buying it.

“We’re still hoping for a June vote, at the latest,” Jefferson Slack, a member of the RSU Withdrawal Committee, said Thursday night.

Committee member Tim Merry concurred.

“Somewhere along the line,” Merry said, “this magical timeline appeared that we were never made aware of. Supposedly, the state agrees with it.”

Slack and Myers were referring to RSU 12 attorney William Stockmeyer’s written statement, made last month, that Wiscasset residents won’t be able to vote on withdrawal until November at the earliest because there are too many details to iron out.

By then, the 2013-14 school year would have begun, and budgetary arrangements between Wiscasset and RSU 12 would be established.

RSU withdrawal committee members believe RSU 12 is delaying its response to their withdrawal plan, and Merry did not mince words regarding a perceived lack of action.

Merry said RSU 12 has made no “good-faith effort” to negotiate Wiscasset’s withdrawal, and he suggested Wiscasset ask the state to order formation of a new RSU 12 panel that assesses withdrawal plans.

“I, for one, am going to have a hard time sitting across from this group of people knowing how deceitful and dishonest they have been,” Merry said. “From July 19 to today, there’s been nothing from that group.”

Geoffrey Hole, representing the Wiscasset withdrawal committee, has gone so far as to seek an injunction against the “pattern of delay” in a letter to Stockmeyer dated Dec. 19.

Hole wrote it was “clear” that “as a group, your side has shown no substantive attention to the withdrawal.”

“We want it to be very clear to the RSU that Wiscasset will no longer tolerate this pattern of delay,” he wrote.

The withdrawal committee also voted to conduct a public informational meeting on the cost of running an independent school district, at 6 p.m., Jan. 10, tentatively scheduled for the Wiscasset High School library.

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