Dresden will vote on the RSU 2 withdrawal petition
Dresden voters will consider a question about whether to submit a petition to the RSU 2 board to withdraw from the school district on Tuesday, June 14.
Voters will also validate the city’s education budget.
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Pownalborough Hall at 314 Patterson Road in Dresden, to coincide with the state’s primary election.
On the ballot, voters will consider a question that reads: “Do you support filing a motion to withdraw with the Regional Academic Unit (RSU 2) Board of Trustees and with the Commissioner Education, authorizing the Withdrawal Committee to expend $40,000 and authorizing the Selectboard to issue tickets in the name of the City of Dresden or otherwise pledge the appropriation of the City of Dresden for an amount not to exceed $40,000 to this end ? “
The question will only trigger the RSU 2 withdrawal process and is not a commitment to spend $40,000, according to Jeff Pierce, chairman of the RSU 2 exploratory committee.
He said in a telephone interview on Tuesday, June 7 that the cumbersomeness of the question is due to the fact that it is written by the Maine Department of Education and is the first in a detailed process in 22 steps described by the state agency to withdraw from an RSU. district.
The $40,000 figure is an estimate calculated by the exploratory committee of the total amount it will cost Dresden to withdraw from RSU 2.
“It takes care of all the legal paperwork and rewriting all of the teacher’s contracts,” Pierce said.
The question was added to the ballot after a petition was signed by 10% of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election in Dresden. According to the Ministry of Education, in 2018, 953 residents of Dresden voted.
Therefore, the petition must have received at least 96 signatures to appear on the ballot.
If the voters approve the question, the exploratory committee will continue its work and consider the next steps for the withdrawal. If the matter is not approved, the committee will disband, Pierce said.
The committee initially launched a survey among Dresden residents and found support for the withdrawal of RSU 2.
“If the investigation came back, people didn’t want to come out, we would have stopped,” Pierce said.
The RSU 2 Exploratory Committee formed in August 2021 after the Selection Board appointed members to explore options for Dresden to withdraw from the district, which also serves the towns of Farmingdale, Hallowell, Monmouth and Richmond.
The council took this step after a contentious budget season in 2021, in which voters in Dresden rejected the RSU District 2 budget, although it was ultimately passed by a narrow margin in the rest of the district.
Dresden’s Board of Selectors and Budget Review Committee spoke out against the RSU 2 budget and handed out flyers to the community advising citizens to vote against ahead of the June 2021 annual municipal meeting.