Rockland-area school board mulls public comment for Thursday’s meeting

Regional School Unit 13 Superintendent Lew Collins, left, and Board Chairwoman Esther &quotTess" Kilgour in this April 2013 file photo.
Stephen Betts
Regional School Unit 13 Superintendent Lew Collins, left, and Board Chairwoman Esther "Tess" Kilgour in this April 2013 file photo. Buy Photo
Posted Dec. 05, 2013, at 12:59 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 05, 2013, at 1:19 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The chairwoman of the Rockland-area school board said Thursday she is not sure whether the public will be allowed to speak before the board votes tonight on whether to extend the contract of embattled Superintendent Lew Collins.

Chairwoman Esther “Tess” Kilgour said she is awaiting guidance from the school district’s attorney before deciding whether to allow public comment prior to the vote. The current agenda has the board voting on a contract extension, followed by public comment on items on the board’s agenda.

The contract renewal is expected to attract a significant audience at the meeting to be held at the McLain School. The board is scheduled to meet in a closed-door session to go over its evaluation of Collins beginning at 5:30 p.m. The public session is set to start at 6:30 p.m.

The vote on the contract is one of the first items on the public agenda.

A Facebook page — RSU 13 School Board Meeting — has been created in which parents are urging others to attend.

Collins’ contract is set to expire June 30. He has come under criticism from teachers, administrators and some board members over his management style and decisions. Collins has said that the board had approved initiatives he had moved ahead with, and it knew that there were several long-standing issues that had to be dealt with.

“I told them I wouldn’t shy away from the tough stuff,” Collins said earlier this week.

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