Rockland area school board opts to reschedule, open meeting

Regional School Unit 13 Superintendent Lew Collins, left, and Board Chairwoman Esther &quotTess" Kilgour listen to debate on the proposed merger of the district's two middle schools in this April 2013 file photo.
Regional School Unit 13 Superintendent Lew Collins, left, and Board Chairwoman Esther "Tess" Kilgour listen to debate on the proposed merger of the district's two middle schools in this April 2013 file photo.
Posted Dec. 02, 2013, at 8:55 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 03, 2013, at 11:55 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Rockland area school board agreed Monday night to postpone a meeting it had scheduled with a facilitator hired to help it work through problems and to hold the session in public.

The decision to hold the facilitator meeting in open session came after an objection was voiced by the Bangor Daily News as well as by one of the school board members.

The facilitator Robert Hasson, deputy executive director for the Maine School Management Association, agreed that the meeting should be held in the open. He said he was not aware that the board had planned for it to be in a closed session.

Board member Carol Bachofner of Rockland said that the closed-door board meeting last week on personnel was inappropriate and discussed, by innuendo, her.

“It was terrible,” she said.

She asked that the Monday night meeting be postponed because there was not adequate public notice and that when it is held it should be done in the open.

Board member Sherman Hoyt of St. George said he wanted the meeting to be held and that the board should “let the chips fall where they may” by having it in the open.

Board chairwoman Esther “Tess” Kilgour said this was uncharted territory for her and said that there were real no repercussions to not adhering to the public access law unless the media made an issue out of it.

In the end, the board agreed to reschedule the meeting with the facilitator to Dec. 12 and to make it a public meeting.

The board has been at odds for more than a year. The board’s next major decision could come as early as Thursday evening, when it holds its regular monthly meeting and is expected to decide on the renewal of Superintendent Lew Collins’ contract. His contract expires June 30.

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