Raymond appoints members to RSU 14 withdrawal panel

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RAYMOND — Three representatives were named Tuesday to the RSU 14 Withdrawal Committee.

Selectboard member Rolf Olsen will serve as the Selectboard representative; Selectboard Chairman Teresa Sadak, proponent representative; and Joe Bruno, citizen representative.

In addition, RSU 14 School Board member Kate Leveille will serve as the school board representative, according to Sadak.

State statute requires a school withdrawal committee to have members representing the municipal governing body, the school board and citizens, along with the proponent representative, who is someone involved with the petition to withdraw. Sadak has spearheaded the town’s effort to withdraw from the Windham-Raymond school district and helped lead a similar, unsuccessful effort in 2015.

Bruno was chosen because he “has a lot of history” with the issue, Sadak said. He was on the consolidation board when Raymond joined Windham to create RSU 14 in 2008 and was on the Selectboard and the Withdrawal Committee during the 2015 withdrawal attempt.

Raymond residents voted Aug. 14 to begin the process of withdrawing from RSU 14. Among concerns are district costs and a belief that RSU 14 is not living up to a cost-sharing agreement.

The withdrawal process, as outlined in state statute, has 22 steps, including public hearings, the creation of a withdrawal committee, the development of a withdrawal agreement and a sign-off from the Maine Department of Education.

The next step, Sadak said, is to appoint a chairman of the Withdrawal Committee, which will be done at a meeting that has yet to be set by the School Board. The chairman will be one of the four people on the Withdrawal Committee.

Sadak said they have received the sign-off from the Maine Department of Education dated Sept. 28. Putting together a withdrawal agreement, she explained, could take between six months and a year.

“We want to keep this publicized as much as possible just to keep people informed. All meetings will be videotaped and public,” she said.

Jane Vaughan can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or at jvaughan@keepmecurrent.com.