May 22, 2018
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Saco votes 3-to-1 to withdraw from school district

By Liz Gotthelf, Journal Tribune

SACO, Maine — Residents in Saco voted 3-1 Tuesday to withdraw from Regional School Unit 23.

The vote to withdraw was 2,996 to 977. RSU 23, which includes Saco, Old Orchard Beach and Dayton, was formed in 2009.

Roland “Ron” Michaud, an RSU board member who served on the committee that came up with the withdrawal plan, said Tuesday night at the community center that he had “mixed emotions.”

Michaud originally supported forming the RSU, but since its formation has been vocally opposed to it, saying that the cost-sharing formula is working against Saco.

“I think we can do a lot better job on our own than with this shotgun wedding,” he said.

He said he hopes the negativity that has erupted will go away.

CARE 23, a local citizens’ group that was against withdrawal, said in a statement after last night’s vote, “We look forward to working with the future Saco MSAU [Maine School Administrative Unit], and hope that parents and citizens will remain actively involved in championing K-8 education. We also hope to foster greater collaboration within the Dayton, Old Orchard Beach and Biddeford communities.”

Dayton residents will vote later this month on whether to withdraw from the RSU.

In Saco, residents Tuesday night also voted in Margarita Zavala and David Labbe for school board in a five-way race for two seats. Labbe received 1,823 votes, Zavala, 1,816, Kevin Lafortune, 1,426, Daniel Cabral, 842 and Stanley Mozden, 485.

As the city has voted for withdrawal, a new school board will be voted in on Dec. 10.

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