Franklin Countys First News

RSU 9 budget passes, with all towns reporting

The RSU 9 budget validation vote appears to have passed this evening, by a total vote of 1,552 in favor and 1,174 opposed.

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Voters in the 10 towns that comprise the Regional School Unit 9 school district went to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots on a $35.5 million budget.

That budget, approved on May 7 at the district-wide budget meeting, would represent an increase of $1.9 million over the current fiscal year or 5.68 percent. New items in the budget include teaching and support positions, staff and support for the Pathways for All Learners program and funds donated by Richard Bjorn to benefit the Foster Career & Technical Education Center.

In total, not including Bjorn's donation and some other miscellaneous funds, the budget would be funded by roughly $13.3 million from local town assessments and $21 million from the state allocation, an increase of $750,000. It would result in a 6.25 percent increase in local assessments.

The validation referendum asked voters if they either support or reject the budget set at the district-wide meeting. A 'yes' vote confirms the budget for the next fiscal year, a 'no' vote rejects it, effectively restarting the process.

Results were posted here as they came in Tuesday evening:

Chesterville: 71 yes, 158 no
Farmington:
690 yes, 329 no
Industry: 74 yes, 65 no
New Sharon: 119 yes, 161 no
New Vineyard: 34 yes, 82 no
Starks: 83 yes, 15 no
Temple: 64 yes, 56 no
Vienna: 69 yes, 30 no
Weld: 31 yes, 41 no
Wilton: 317 yes, 237 no

Total (final): 1,552 yes, 1,174 no

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94 Responses »

  1. @Nancy Porter: The level of self-importance in your comment is astounding. Farmington will get along quite well should you decide to leave with all your wisdom. You likely feel as a leper because you have ostracized yourself by taking such an extreme position without any sound basis for doing so. If you spent even half as much time volunteering in the schools as you have spent trying to derail the budget process, you might actually be a happier person.

  2. What do you think? Over the last ten years there has been yearly increases of a million plus. This year it is a million four hundred thousand. Who among you would be happy next year if RSU9 asked for a 3 million dollar increase. Would you vote for it?

  3. Jesse
    Don’t think people care anymore...the board won’t stop spending so the conservative
    Side has given up... good luck with your meetings.

  4. ALL I KNOW IS WE THE TAX PAYERS HAVE LITERALLY THROWN MONEY AT EDUCATION FOR YEARS NOW AND WE STILL RANK WELL BELOW LEVELS AROUND THE WORLD , WHAT'S THE ANSWER ?? NOT MONEY THAT'S FOR SURE !!

    STUMPED !!

  5. Let me share a piece of local history. In 1913, the superintendent advocated for a substantial increase in appropriations because underpaying our teachers and staff means "somebody's children are losing what is due them—competent training and instruction... let me press home the fact that the education of your children is the most important work being done in the community."

    More than 100 years later the essence of the argument above still rings true. This is why we, the voters, passed the school budget.

  6. Nancy, I'll forward a card and a basket of flowers to your new address. Let me know when you leave.

  7. Bill, again don't look at the bottom line. So much of the increase has been due to state mandates or school construction, and most of that has been met with state funds. That's why despite bottom line increases in the two years before this, the district has asked LESS from property tax payers. This year there was more asked, but hopefully we can keep it in line next year. The district has done more cutting than adding in the last ten years in terms of discretionary spending. Looking at the bottom line increase includes not only reimbursed state mandates, but also gifts. Better to look at the details - what is actually added, and how much are property tax payers on the hook for.

  8. @ Sammy some may have given up but my kids and my conservative side is what got me involved. It's not easy missing ball games or practices, leaving work early and understanding every part of the budget process. The fact is that we all need to be involved and stay involved or we will never get anywhere.
    Again some other folks still need to keep there comments to themselves if all they want to do is be rude. Your negative comments are not helping either side of this situation.

  9. Intelligence prevailed. People voted for our kids and our future. Awesome. People with incorrect assumptions about how districts waste money were muted. I’m glad this is over. Thank you to the school board and the superintendent for looking out for children.

  10. Wow Only 2,726 people from 10 Townes voted. Shame on the non voters. What if the issue was confiscating all the guns in Franklin county? Or close all the food banks in Franklin county.Or teachers and administrators need to have district furnish cars to them. Maybe charge students to ride school buses.

  11. Nancy, I think you deserve more appreciation than you get here. Why can't people see you are only looking out for everyone's pockets. I'm sure a lot of the elderly agree. Dont move Nancy, when you loose your home you can go live at one of those nice low income homes. Let's bet on how much more money they will want next year.

  12. How is the process of having one board member, one vote coming along. Getting 10 members with a equal vote will be our best chance of having a reasonable budget to vote on.

  13. I hope with this increase I won't get a letter begging for school supplies from the parents. That doesn't happen in other districts with lower taxes and better schools.

  14. Bill, The progressive agenda is to provide all. Whatever it takes. They will continue to do so until there are monies left to take. So, no $3MM request is plausible next year for currently unknown reason. This is getting a bit personal.

    The name calling and remarks toward those of different opinion is another agenda item. Anyone who disagrees is made to appear foolish. There’s an Eminem lyric bout that. Ha. It’s a sad state of affairs whereas reasonable debate cannot be had without getting cranked up. We all want what is best for our schools. Spending within our means needs to be collaborative and bipartisan. My family has been blessed with use of the land we are on for many generations. I’m not going anywhere and am willing to wait. It’ll eventually sort out.

  15. I really felt a PALS type program was needed. The problem I have is there doesn't
    appear to be any " give " with the take. Seems it is ok to vote no as long as some agree with the reason, if not then the other option is if you don't like it just leave.
    I have no control over the tax structure and funding of the school district we live in. But what I can control is where we spend our other monies. Seems that a lot people in the Farmington area support the " don't let the door hit you on the way out ", so our monies won't be missed. We actually live closer to Madison and Skowhegan and they seem to be more than happy to take our money.

  16. Jesse,
    So tell me Jesse. How are we going to stop the increase spending every year over a million every year.
    I’m not trying to be negative but honest. Please tell me next year we won’t see a million increase? You work hard, is your company expenses going up over a million this year?? I don’t think so. Why is it that I’m negative when I don’t want to spend another million on the school..? I don’t see it as negative but financially smart.

  17. Nancy Porter is mad so she is running away and she will NEVER share any of her knowledge of local history with your dumb kids that she hates!! Happy now YES voters??

  18. Good point Herbert, they could be paying Nancy to teach history and I mean history of our people for generations and they could learn about their own family and it would be more interesting than learning history that happened in the 1800 's who cares about ancient times, teach them some homesteading.

  19. Oh Nancy, don't make promises you don't intend to keep. You are not the only local historian in this community I think we'll manage. Just go and try for your own sake, please , be happy.

  20. Thanks for the encouragement, Alison. I'm just biding my time. And working like a crazy person to pot flowers I've been growing for my "TAX RELIEF PLANT SALE". Now wouldn't you think all these wonderful people who have decided they want my money to pay for their schools would come by and buy a plant to help out?
    Terry and I are having our FOURTH ANNUAL PLANT SALE, and we've got some pretty good plants. If teachers ID themselves as teachers, they'll get a special deal.

  21. Sammy please email me jsillanpaa@mtbluersd.org and we will talk in person their seems to be some miscommunication in the comments.

  22. Just read the article about "former Wilton resident, MB graduate" ----- I was thinking of how well you can do with a sound education, as offered by Mt. Blue. Maybe others will partake of the same opportunity offered by a quality school system.

  23. Jesse,I not see the miscommunication in Sammy's comment.I hear him telling people that the budget has gone up yearly and he's asking you if we can expect history to repeat next year.You as a board member chose to make comments on the DBD which welcomes other people's views.We welcome your views also.If you do comment "as a board member" we are entitled to know where you stand.

  24. I wont comment anymore but Taxed enough is right on the money. Jesse its a simple question as a concerned board member you should be able to answer the questions. I think you know the answers but it probably wouldn't be politically correct to give the honest answers.

  25. Taxed enough the miscommunication I meant was at the end of his comment. I wasn't telling him he was being negative that was pointed at the people pointing fingers at each other being rude mostly towards Nancy for sharing her opinion. I don't think we. Eed a long drawn out comment on here stating my opinion that is why I have asked people to email me so I can speak to them in person or by phone if they want. So feel free to email me at jsillanpaa@mtbluersd.org and we can continue our conversation.

  26. I would like to know when and where this plant sale is going to be held, Nancy .. Good for you for doing something besides just complaining about outrageous taxes. I'd also love to see that historic information be purchased and preserved that has been complied. Maybe she would like to tell us how much she would charge to share her hard work.

  27. Perhaps special savings for all No voters??? Keep saying, and doing what you do, it wouldn't be you if you didn't voice your opinion. If the yes voters don't get it, they never will.

  28. Keep doing and saying what you want Nancy, when the taxes get too high maybe another Wal-Mart or a Piggley Wiggley will buy up all properties and hire the poor as people greeters, and oh yes they will be able to wear pajamas good luck with your sale. PS, Save me a copy of your history book!

  29. Taxed enough there is miscommunication in my conversation with Sammy because the end of my last comment was supposed to be a seperate paragraph. I was t saying Sammy was being rude I was referring to the way people were talking to Nancy and others. I will not put a long speal on here in a comment so if anyone wants to talk in person or on the phone about this my email is jsillanpaa@mtbluersd.org

  30. I'm convinced people on both sides are well intentioned and trying to be pragmatic. It's easy to demonize one side as "wanting to spend, spend, spend" and the other as "wanting to deny our kids a quality education," but really....there are differences of opinion about whether the spending is reasonable or needed, and why. If we don't demonize or caricature each other, and instead respect each other, we can try to make next year one where we can find real common ground. We're better than the shouting heads on cable TV. Let's say no to personal attacks and yes to listening - on all sides.

  31. Jesse,
    I respect that you are trying to be professional, but there might be something that you don't see that you are doing on here. Repeatedly asking people to communicate with you one-on-one implies that you have things to say about others or about the issue that you can't say in public. I believe a board member should act and speak publicly when in their role. Everyone has side conversations and "meetings after the meeting," but actually stating that publicly... is strange. What secrets do you have that you need to email back and forth that you can't say on the Daily Bulldog or at the meetings? You were a prolific Daily Bulldog'er before; what has happened? You don't like grandstanding (anymore)? Do you want to be a part of the public conversation or don't you? You went so far as getting elected so I am guessing that you do.

  32. Hey Scott. Most of us are working harder, making less and expected to pay more every year. Please tell me how we can sustain that even for another year ? Small business owners are killing themselves to keep up with your generosity pace to RSU-9 !! Get that budget under control please. We all have needs!!!

  33. This is all political. These socialists will take everyones money for SELF PRESERVATION. without people who want to do nothing but live off others, socialists wouldn't exist. The nanny state our schools now teach and push on kids today only make things worse.
    Socialism dosent work, its been proven around the world. If you want to stop it , show people how hard work and values at home are the way to better lives. Show kids its ok if you fail or dont win that game. Try harder ,figure out a better way. All of US as successful parents had parents that would have ! Old is not always old, but usually better.

  34. Hey, Bend -- remember when Trump was wanting immigrants to come here from Norway? And the news from Norway was "why would anyone from Norway want to go to the US"? Guess what ---- Norway is socialist. As is Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands and more of the most prosperous and content nations of the world. England, France and Germany are pretty darn socialist too, and there's a lot of that in Canada. Apparently socialism CAN work, and many nations prove it clearly.

    Stop listening to the drivel on Fox and maybe see things a wee bit clearer.

  35. Is " pretty darn socialist " as close as " almost pregnant "?

  36. Ben is misinformed. Of the top 20 most happy,prosperous countries with the highest standard of living,they are mostly socialist. You won't hear that from the angry millionaires on talk radio Creep Shows.

  37. If in a booming economy people are working harder and making less, something is wrong. Maybe it's only the very wealthy getting the benefits of a booming economy? If that's the case, anger about a school budget is very misplaced! Anyway, the last two budgets before this one the district asked for less money overall from property tax payers. This year there was more ,but it's still not much more than back in 2015. There haven't been huge tax increases due to the school budget the last three years - this year there will be, but it will likely be not too much. We have lower cost per pupil. I think what people mistake the bottom line increase for what is being asked of property tax payers. That is not the case. The bottom line increase includes a lot of mandates from the state that the state reimburses us for, as well as gifts and reimbursement on school construction debt payoff. So I think you have a false premise, Calamity.

    Bend - bureaucratic socialism of the kind the Soviet Union had doesn't work. I'm in Berlin, Germany now, actually teaching students about how that system collapsed (we went to a museum of the DDR to see what everyday life was like in communism.) That system was horrific, and nobody wants that and nobody is trying to get that. But Chief is right - here in Germany they have prosperity, a booming economy, and a much stronger social welfare system than ours. Their working class is not losing out, as they tax the wealthier at a higher rate, and have strong unions. That isn't really socialism (they still have market economies), but these systems are working very well. Bend, you seem to have fallen for a propaganda trick of labeling the opponent and demonizing them. Reality is far more complex, and democracy depends on compromise and cooperation.

  38. Scott, " bureaucratic socialism of the kind the Soviet Union had doesn't work. " Then you go on to say that the system that is working really well " That isn't really socialism (they still have market economies), "
    The countries you, David and Chief speak of are quite a bit different in many other ways. Culture, immigration, politics, etc
    I totally agree that we could learn a lot from some of the systems they use, but the USA is just very different in so many ways, it would be difficult to implement.
    Happy and safe travels!!

  39. @OMG - you are blind if you don’t think there are a group on the board who message back and forth about their differences with other board members, students or others. You are blind if you don’t think they run to others in the community. I know first hand. @Jesse - you are doing just fine in asking that person to message you since they asked about your own business info too - you are after all entitled to your own personal life. @scott - you say “let’s say no to personal attacks and yes to listening - on all sides” so I sure hope you feel that way about all issues being addressed and not just budget. @the school board - Like high school, work places even the board has cliques and so please remember that when addressing things concerning children & teens who have nothing to hide by being themselves and open but lots to lose when sharing everything with people. Thank you.

  40. @Scott Erb….but Germany pretty much would have to rely on capitalist countries to bale them out in case of war.

  41. @OMG the reason I ask people to email me is I refuse to put a three page comment on here nor do I think it would get published. I don't have the time to type it all in here on my cell phone screen because unlike most people on here with there fake names I dont have a computer at my house. If you have a problem with me talking to people outside in the parking lot after the meetings you should come over to our little group and see what it is we are talking about. Otherwise you can email me at jsillanpaa@mtbluersd.org and we can talk in person or by phone that's what one other commenter here has done. I have asked a number of folks to do so and Dulles took the time to reach out instead of criticizing anyone.

  42. \ALL those countries mentioned can spend , govern, legislate or whatever because they have the security and luxury of being protected by you know who. Maybe next time around it will be different. Maybe we should stop all foreign aid and keep it for our own. Hey, Scott Erb, if you read this and are so inclined, would you do me a favor and research the background of the teachers as a whole in Germany. I was told that a large percentage of the teachers in Germany and China are ex- military. True or not true? Thanks , Bob Millay

  43. Maniac. Sorry to burst your bubble but we have sold about 28%, since 2002, of our National debt to China (Which is a communist Country) to pay for the "War on Terror" since 2002. And, the current admin wants to increase military spending by 54 billion while cutting domestic spending on things like... public schools. Seems we are already a Capitalist Country that has to borrow from other countries to pay for our wars.

  44. Billyjoebob - you're absolutely right, there are a lot of differences, it's complex to compare.

    Mainiac - Germany is a capitalist country (indeed, they have one of the strongest economies on the planet), and the Europeans have the best equipped and trained militaries in the world, behind only the US. Who is going to challenge them to a war?

    Bob - Most male teachers in Germany did serve in the military because until a few years ago there was mandatory service. It was only ten months, but everyone had to do it (or they could do 18 months of civilian service). That was changed awhile back, but most German males I know did serve in the military. We had some interesting discussions about whether or not mandatory conscription is a good thing. Otherwise, teachers in Germany are very well paid compared to those in the US (I have a few teacher friends). Schools are NOT funded via property taxes by localities but by federal and state money. They don't have these kind of budget battles. They also don't have as much local control of their schools.

    Samo - I wouldn't call China Communist - their economic strategy is more state capitalist. But they do call themselves communist, so...

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