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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

Meeting Notes - Joint Meeting with School Committee - March 2, 2009

The meeting came to order at 7:02 PM at the Lamoine Town Hall

Present were: Selectmen Cynthia Donaldson, Jo Cooper, Richard Fennelly Jr., Brett Jones; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, School Committee members Nancy Sargent, Christina Maguire-Harding, Robert Pulver, Faith Perkins, Kathleen Rybarz; Superintendent of Schools Omar Norton, Lamoine Consolidated School Principal Val Perkins, teacher Leah Treadwell and RSU #24 Director Jonathan Morren.

Lot Delineation - The proposed delineation of the fire station portion of the present school/firehouse lot was passed around. School Committee Chair Christina Maguire-Harding said part of the Regional School Unit (RSU) model was to delineate certain assets, and part of that effort was to carve out the land needed for the fire station. Mr. Pulver said Brett got this all together. Chair Maguire-Harding reviewed the plans, and said the RSU plan had a place holder to cut off the fire department lot so that it is not owned by the RSU.

Brett said deed language has been drafted. Stu said this is what will be presented to the Town Meeting. Chair Maguire-Harding said if it's approved, it would then go into the RSU record. There was a brief discussion about the RSU documents. Richard said there was discussion about an easement to allow the fire department to access through behind the school. A short discussion followed about making sure that is written into the deed. Chairman Maguire-Harding confirmed that any delineation include the access easement. Brett asked who would draft the deed. It was agreed the Board of Selectmen would take care of it.

RSU #24/Local Advisory Committee Chairman Maguire-Harding noted that Jon Morren would hold a 3-year term. She said the School Board is trying to draft the architecture about how a local advisory committee would occur. Jo said the Selectmen wanted to know who was responsible for forming the committee, and it makes sense to work with the school committee to get something together to propose to the town. She said the process is not laid out anywhere, so she thought it would be beneficial for the two boards to brainstorm. Chairman Maguire-Harding said the two boards need to agree that it's something the town wishes to have. Brett noted that ultimately it's up to the town. Chairman Maguire-Harding said there is no requirement to have a local advisory committee (LAC). Jo said she wants to make sure the town knows it has a choice.

Ms. Perkins said the Selectmen could appoint members to the LAC, but it's better to put it before the town. Jo said it's not the board's style or desire to force a board upon the town. RSU director Morren said there were a number of suggestions made about the structure of any LAC. He said Superintendent Norton planned to check to see if there was some language around. Mr. Morren said the school board had discussed the enabling ordinance for the Conservation Commission and felt maybe a similar ordinance might work.

Brett said having an open ended group is folly. Richard said lacking a local advisory committee; a method is needed to communicate to the RSU representative. Mr. Morren said an LAC makes the most sense. He said he agreed with Brett that having a wide open committee is poor policy. He said there need to be core members. Chairman Maguire-Harding said they'd like to come up with ideas, but not recreate the wheel if there is something that already exists. She said the Conservation Commission is appointed, and the LAC is needed to support the RSU member. Mr. Morren said there are pieces already set by law the RSU director is the chair of the LAC and the principal is the secretary.

Brett said the town has lost local control of the school board. He said he would like to see the LAC have as many teeth as possible. He said the consensus of the LAC is the position that the RSU director should take. A brief discussion followed on the power of the LAC. Stu noted the LAC's real power would likely be to draw up the budget for additional local education spending. Further discussion followed.

There were discussions on the following matters:

The meeting discussed looking further into the following items:

The joint meeting discussed the timing of a special town meeting for the budget for the additional local costs, and combining that with the LAC ordinance.

It was noted the present school committee serves officially until June 30, 2009.

It was agreed that Stu and Superintendent Norton would draft up an ordinance that could possibly serve as a statewide model, and to present it to both boards.

Present Elections Ordinance Stu reported that at the regular town meeting on April 8, 2009, an amendment would be put before the voters to amend the present ordinance that determines what offices are elected and when they take office so that the presently serving school committee members would all serve until June 30, 2009 at which time the office would be eliminated, and the RSU Director office would replace it.

Assignment of High School Students Chairman Maguire-Harding said there are concerns about the potential of elimination of transportation to MDI High School . She noted attendance at MDI High and Ellsworth High is split pretty evenly. She said effective July 1, 2009 there would be no busing to MDI, but it's her recommendation that if 35% of the students of secondary school age choose to attend a school, the school would provide transportation. She said she was working to present a draft policy model regarding transportation to MDI High.

Superintendent North said he's talked with the MDI Superintendent and to the Trenton School Committee, and they both want Lamoine students at MDI High. Richard asked about the impact on Essential Programs and Services formula for students attending non RSU high schools.

There were discussions about the following:

There being no further matters to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen