G-NG, SAD 15 leaders meet on collaboration

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GRAY — Town and school officials are looking to bolster communication and collaboration between Gray, New Gloucester and the SAD 15 school board. 

Members of the Gray Town Council, New Gloucester Selectboard and SAD 15 School Board converged for a joint leaders meeting at the Gray Town Office on Monday, Nov. 27.

The purpose of the meeting was for members of each board to get to know each other better, discuss areas of shared concern, and identify ways the boards can work together moving forward. 

The discussion was led by SAD 15 Superintendent Craig King, and also included Gray Town Manager Deb Cabana and New Gloucester Town Manager Carrie Castonguay. 

“Basically, the purpose is for you people to have a conversation – the three governing boards, elected officials in Gray-New Gloucester that manage the town departments and the school department,” King said. “There are many things that are of common interest to you. There are many things in terms of municipal government that work well for you, or may challenge you. We also might want to talk a bit about what we want our future relationship to be.”

Attending were SAD 15 board members Tina Martell, Anne Rowe, Gary Harriman, Amy Aratta, Sam Pfeifle, Amy Stone and Barbara Thompson; New Gloucester selectboard members Stephen Hathorne, Joseph Davis and Lynn Conger; and Gray councilors Lynn Gallagher, Bruce Foshay, Dan Maguire, Sandy Carder and Jason Wilson. 

The discussion was structured around defining the roles and responsibilities of each board, their respective points of pride, respective challenges faced and how they can work together. 

The joint leaders group decided to meet again in May of 2018. 

Following the discussion with all three boards, the two Gray and New Gloucester municipal boards continued with a discussion about traffic and transportation concerns in both towns. 

At the Dec. 5 Gray Town Council meeting, Chairwoman Lynn Gallagher mentioned the joint leaders meeting and called it “very successful.”

Members of the Gray council also discussed at their Dec. 5 meeting the possibility of collaborating with New Gloucester as each town considers comprehensive plan work, and said they will discuss the issue further at a council workshop on Jan. 8. 

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

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