ROCKLAND, Maine — The turmoil continued Tuesday on the Rockland-area school board, but in the end the board supported hiring a former Maine Superintendent of the Year as interim superintendent.
The board voted 9-2 to hire Michael Wilhelm as its superintendent through May 24. He will succeed Lew Collins, whose final day on the job is Friday.
Wilhelm served as superintendent for SAD 75, based in Topsham, for 19 years. In 2003, he was named Maine Superintendent of the Year. He retired in 2011 but came out of retirement to serve as interim superintendent of RSU 16 in Poland in 2012.
He is a Casco resident.
Board Vice Chairman Loren Andrews said he was voting against hiring Wilhelm not because of his ability but because there was no information on where the money would come from to pay the interim superintendent.
“You may be the best thing since sliced bread, but I don’t support you since I don’t know how we will pay you $500 a day,” Andrews said.
The board was split 6-6 on electing a new board chairman. With weighted votes, board member Steven Roberts of Rockland was elected chairman to take over March 6 when Chairwoman Esther “Tess” Kilgour will step down from that position but remain on the board. Roberts narrowly outpolled George Emery of St. George.
Board member Carol Bachofner said Emery was a calm voice who could bring the board and district together.
Before the vote, Roberts apologized for publicly criticizing a school employee at last month’s meeting.