BREWER, Maine — Brewer’s new superintendent of schools purchased a home in the city on Friday, spent the weekend unpacking and started his new job on Monday.
Hampden native Jay A. McIntire, who was selected as the new superintendent in April, and his wife, Kristin, spent a portion of their Wednesday lunch hour at Brewer City Hall registering to vote.
“We want to be ready for the school vote on Monday,” McIntire said, referring to the July 8 school budget validation referendum.
McIntire is a 1980 Hampden Academy graduate who most recently was superintendent for SAU 64 in Milton, N.H. He started July 1 and his salary is $105,000 plus benefits.
The Brewer City Council approved the school budget figures at a special June 28 meeting and the school department is required to hold the budget validation referendum within 10 days. The council set Monday for the budget vote.
“It was a very difficult budget year,” School board Chairwoman Janet McIntosh said Tuesday. “[The fiscal year 2013-14 budget figure] is an increase, but we have done our very best to be responsible with taxpayer dollars.”
The $20.3 million preliminary school budget, which is an increase of about $315,500 or 1.6 percent, requires approximately $7.4 million in local tax dollars — an increase of $1.2 million, or 20.5 percent — compared with this year.
School leaders decided to ask the city for more money to prevent teacher layoffs, McIntosh said.
“The city council certainly scrutinized our budget and [afterward] did pass it,” she said.
Mayor Kevin O’Connell called the Bangor Daily News on Tuesday to encourage residents to vote.
“The more the merrier,” he said. “If it doesn’t pass, we’re back to ground zero.”
When residents approved the budget by referendum last year, they also approved a change to the city charter that requires superintendents hired after June 30, 2013, to become residents of Brewer within three years.
Buying a home in the city was not an issue for McIntire and his wife, who have two young sons. He was selected from a field of 10 applicants to fill the shoes of outgoing superintendent Daniel Lee, who retired at the end of June and is moving to Missoula, Mont.
“It’s great to be back in Maine,” McIntire said. “I’ve already run into people who’ve said, ‘I know your father’ or ‘I remember hearing about you when you were a teacher.’ Maine is home.”