Orono residents asked to voice opinions in search for new superintendent

Posted Jan. 17, 2013, at 9:44 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — Residents are invited to share their views on their next superintendent of schools during a public forum set for Thursday, Jan. 24.

The forum begins at 7 p.m. in the Orono High School cafeteria, according to a notice issued on Wednesday.

Orono, along with neighboring Veazie, are in the market for superintendent services as the result of their respective referendum votes to withdraw from RSU 26, leaving Orono the sole member.

RSU 26 Superintendent Doug Smith said earlier that he and some of his central staff members will remain with Glenburn after the withdrawals take effect on July 1.

Though members of the RSU 26 Orono Board Subcommittee have yet to develop a checklist for their community, they did discuss some typical attributes and qualifications for superintendents during a recent workshop with a Maine School Management Association representative.

“We’re still in the planning stages, but I think that the basic idea at this point is to hear from the community,” Wayne Scott, an RSU 26 board member and chairman of the Orono subcommittee, said Thursday of next week’s forum.

“We want to give the citizens a chance to have their input,” he said. “This is a way for the public to be involved.”

Scott said that Orono plans to hire MSMA to provide some basic services, such as advertising the positions and legal advice.

Despite RSU 26’s split-up, the withdrawal agreements negotiated by the three towns allow for the continued sharing some administrative services as well as some teachers.

Heartburn over cost-sharing and a desire to regain control over the education of their children were cited as reasons for starting the withdrawal process by residents of both Veazie and Glenburn. Residents and elected officials from those two towns also balked at the regional school unit’s system of weighted votes.

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