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.


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
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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98 Responses »

  1. Wow....look at that!!! I guess the YES voters are planning on paying double their taxes so the po' folks who can't pay will have a "bye" this year. Thank you so much, YES VOTERS, for being so generous.

  2. Glad to see the budget pass on the first ballot this year. Will be happy to see all of the signs taken down so they are no longer littering the roadsides.

  3. Not surprised the budget passed as it was for the children, all 8 of them! What a boondoggle this school system is.

  4. Hey,, Jeep: I just came in from picking up signs.
    So...are YOU planning on paying double this year?

  5. Thank you so much to the towns voting yes on this budget... How about those towns that actually voted for such an outrageous budget be the ones that pay all the increase in taxes!

  6. You are welcome simple simon.

  7. its always something they cant seem to ever have enough money!

  8. So glad to see the budget passed on the first vote. Way to go voters!!

  9. So what happens if the small towns decide to jump ship? They'd basically have to get a couple of buses, and transport their kids, and pay tuition. I can guess it would be a whole lot cheaper than staying with RSU9, and I'm guessing they'd get a whole lot more respect than they do now.

  10. Time for Weld to jump ship and send the kids to Dixfield

  11. Nancy, if they were to jump ship they would find that trying to abandon one ship to jump on another does not change the fact that they are both stuck on the same reef.

  12. Nancy Porter why don't you ask Dixfield how that's working for them to had jumped ship!!??

    Good for you voters for supporting the kids!!

  13. There goes what little extra money most people make to pay for over priced administration costs. Gotta love the time's of the voting. Set for time's when working people have to work to make ends meet. Looks like a lot of people are going to have to work two jobs to pay for an over priced school. Thanks for voting yes. I hope you will pay the extra that the other people can't afford.

  14. A neighboring district looked at this a few years ago. A study was commissioned and it was determined that it was actually more expensive, because of the way the funding formula and Special Education supports work, to close a school. It would have cost more to close the high school than to continue operating it, so make sure you get the correct information. Invest in your kids now, or pay more later!

  15. It's a never ending battle, I see this happening every year now, more, more, more.

  16. @ Can't believe you may want to stop blaming individual towns. You may want to check out the votes. Every town had yes voters. The majority rules

  17. And once again rural Maine people will see a rise in taxes while Southern Maine enjoys low mill rates and good jobs.

  18. Well I feel bad for those of you in the smaller towns that are going to see the huge increases in your property taxes. Then again, I thank my lucky stars that I found some poor out of state sucker that bought my camp in Chesterville. Now they can enjoy everything that Chesterville offers for their tax dollars:)


    If you want to change the rate of your property taxes, this should be done at the state level so that local property taxes do not to need to fund so much of our schools. The state is still not paying its fair share of education funding. Fiddling with the property tax rebate, and a tax cut to upper income earners has pushed the burden of funding schools to local property tax payers, ensuring that future budget battles will continue to divide our community.

  20. Nancy Porter. you should gather all your little towns and leave. I will wave and smile as you drive out. THANK YOU RSU 9 yes people! maybe teaches will be able to buy pencils!

  21. The kids should be smarter next year, right? More money = Smarter kids

  22. time to recall the board. way out of control budget

  23. To: Living the Dream - That out of state sucker probably makes more money than us "Mainers," so the taxes will seem cheap to them!!

  24. It would be interesting to know how many yes voters are native to Franklin County vs the yes voters that have migrated here in recent years.

  25. Looks like we will be selling the house and moving south, we cannot afford to continue to
    have these increases year after year, when does this stop? I feel bad for the older generation
    on a limited budget, what are they supposed to do? It is time to put a cap on spending!

  26. @concerned If it's a state level issue and they aren't paying "their fair share" why do towns in Southern Maine have lower taxes on more expensive properties and better schools?

    What have Lance Harvell or Tom Saviello done to bring jobs and industry to our area and shift the tax burden from those that earn wages to those that produce wages?

  27. Really? Smarter kids for more money? Looks like it hasn't worked in the past as RSU 9 voters aren't too smart about the way they vote!

  28. So, I did not get out to vote yesterday so I cannot complain that the budget passed. But, here is food for thought RSU 9's school budget is 3x what Jay's school budget is for a whopping 750 kids more. Can anyone explain this in detail.

  29. First if you think taxes will double you are higher than meeee. Light increase yes.


  31. " maybe teaches will be able to buy pencils! " [ sic ] Thirtyfive million dollars, those are some fancy pencils!

  32. @Billyjoebob Not fancy pencils,numerous ones for the kids in the PAL program to break when having a tantrum.

  33. And the beat goes on...and on...uugh! So disappointing. Does anyone really think that this increase is going to improve the education these students will receive. I seriously doubt it. Every year it steadily goes up and up and our taxes have increased to the point of insanity. Thanks to all you "YES" voters...once again...NOT!

  34. Education seems to come with a much higher price these days or so it seems.Maybe it would be a good suggestion if the price of education was lowered and they tried living within their means not so high of the hog sort of to speak.After all higher prices do not always bring about a better Education.
    I am glad i do not live in any of the towns in the Sad 9 school area.
    years ago when i attended school i do not recall it ever requiring such huge amounts of money for Schools.and Education.and the schools furnished paper.All supplies etc.unlike today when students have to furnish their own.

  35. As someone from a larger town in Maine that moved here four years ago, this school system is top notch. Dr. Tom is one of the best Superintendents I have ever seen. The staff work extremely hard with these kids and do not get the credit they deserve. Anyone who thinks that supporting our future in our kids and insuring they get the education they need should have their head examined. I have heard things like they pay to much to the staff, I don't make that much, special need cost are to high, ECT. This is America and no one will stop you from making as much as you want except you...

    If you think taxes are to high then move, see how you like it.

    To all the RSU9 staff thank you for all you do.

  36. Isn't great how people love democracy and voting except....... when it doesn't go their way. People voted, the results are in-move on. If you feel the need to move away from the district do it, you are free to live anywhere you want to. I notice the same folks who have threatened to move have been doing so for four years. The must be some other positives to the district that are keeping you here.

  37. @Captain Planet: "It would be interesting to know how many yes voters are native to Franklin County vs the yes voters that have migrated here in recent years."

    How ridiculously divisive can you be? Do you pre-date the first settler's to the area in the late 1700's? We all live here!

  38. Wilton Resident: May want different food: At 18.8 million, the Jay/RSU 73 budget is a bit more than half of RSU 9.

    The RSU 73 cost per student was noted at $ 11,041, which is higher than the RSU 9 cost of $10,711.

    RSU 9 is the lowest cost provider, well under the average cost per student in Maine.

  39. I remember being a kid through the budget cuts of the 1990s. I was at the school board meeting when our former award winning marching band (that marched in the first Bush inaugural parade) was cut. I remember when the high school lost accreditation because the board and community were too cheap to renew it. I remember putting an entire photocopied text book into my very own 3-ring binder, because the district wouldn't give us the money to actually buy textbooks for that class. And, I remember believing at that time that my community was cheap, ignorant, and irresponsible.

    Now that I am raising my daughter here, I am glad to have a school board that actually seems to give a damn about the kids in our schools. And, a community that recognizes education as a valuable investment.

  40. Every no voter should spend a day or two in these classrooms if it's the PALS program you are upset about.
    And read the letter to the editor re: what dysregulated kids feel like and why and how they impact their classrooms. Maybe you'll get some empathy. Times have changed and we must adapt.

  41. I was tickled to death to see how much Starks taxes were going up.

  42. Time to move on. It passed so get over it.

  43. I remember when the marching band was cut, too. We also used to put on a "Broadway" musical every year. Then it was changed to a musical every other year and a trip to Boston to see a musical on the off year. Then again, when I was in high school, there were about three people in the string orchestra, and look at us now!

  44. For all those of you who just love to shit on me.... I was told by some blabber mouth at the polls to come to school and volunteer. Really? I'm supposed to come to school, be treated like a leper, and GIVE my time to people who make $45 to $50K a year? I may be stupid, but I'm not THAT stupid.
    So..."for another local"....I'll probably HAVE to move out of town soon. But when I leave, I'm taking a bunch of stuff with me. I'm taking all my knowledge of Local History. Stuff I could share with kids, but I'll be damned if I will. I'm taking all my compilation of information I've done over the years. Stuff NO ONE has but me because I'm the one who created it. So call your local historical society for info? HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  45. Use your head, why don't you go back to you're larger town and stop voting yes here?

  46. Oh the horror, a 3 ring binder with photocopies.
    Yup, I remember the 90's, working 2 jobs to feed my family. I had to drive a used car.
    Hopefully this new budget is enough money to please people, until next year.

  47. Glad to see this budget passed as we voted yes in Chesterville! Disappointing so many from Chesterville voted NO!

  48. Nancy, I have not heard/read any response to any of your postings/comments come close to to being characterized as sh*ting on you, a sharp or rough edge maybe I would venture that maybe you set yourself up a bit

    The Historical Society will be just fine after your departure

  49. To Chuck Davis

    perfectly said

  50. I graduated in the 90's and not once did I need a three ring binder. Maybe that was just at the high school level. Yes the budget passed so lets stop with the negative comments referring to both sides. Let those keyboard warriors with fake names get out and attend meetings no matter what side your on. Last Tuesday night at the board meeting was the lowest attendance I've seen yet. There's something to be said about that seems how the budget was practically set less people was interested in what was happening. Just to catch you all up we had a very nice presence by a young lady by the name of Valerianne Hinkley Young speaking up about bullying. If anyone is interested that conversation will continue on the 22nd. Hope to see all the people interested before the budget was set show up to listen and support her and the other kids that are affected by bullying. After all the board not only does the budget stuff we do other important things.