Franklin Countys First News

RSU 9 budget voted down by wide margin

[Update: 9:17 PM] FARMINGTON - A $32.6 million budget for Regional School Unit 9 was rejected for the third time by a wide margin Tuesday evening, as 4,501 voters turned out across all 10 towns.

The final, unofficial result for RSU 9's towns was 1,608 in favor and 2,893 opposed, with a combined total of 4,501 votes cast. By comparison, roughly 3,100 and 2,700 votes were cast, respectively, in the two referendums earlier this year.

Turnout increased in every town, as compared to the earlier votes, with three towns voting in favor of the $32.6 million budget by a combined 40 votes: Chesterville, New Sharon and New Vineyard. The total, 1,285 margin of "no" votes over "yes" votes exceeded the combined margins of the previous six budget votes held over the past three years.

Specific, town-by-town results can be found below.

The school board will now be tasked with developing a new budget prior to a fourth district-wide budget meeting and budget validation referendum.


FARMINGTON - Mt. Blue Regional School District is holding its third validation vote for the 2017-18 budget today in all 10 towns. Polls will close for towns at 6, 7 or 8 p.m. tonight.

A "yes" vote will approve the $32.6 million budget set at the Sept. 5 meeting. A "no" vote rejects it, effectively restarting the process. More details about today's vote, including poll times, and the budget can be found here.

Towns currently reporting unofficial, preliminary results this evening include: Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Weld and Wilton.

Results will be posted, as they come in, here:

Chesterville: 168 yes and 166 no
Farmington: 565 yes and 1,243 no
Industry: 60 yes and 139 no
New Sharon: 227 yes and 210 no
New Vineyard: 99 yes and 78 no
Starks: 24 yes and 156 no
Temple: 58 yes and 123 no
Vienna: 41 yes and 124 no
Weld: 44 yes and 79 no
Wilton: 322 yes and 575 no

Total: 1,608 yes and 2,893 no, or 4,501 total votes cast.

The school board has a Thursday meeting scheduled, regardless as to the outcome of tonight's vote.

Results for the second validation vote (which failed on July 25)
Chesterville - 55 yes and 172 no
Farmington - 555 yes and 442 no
Industry - 54 yes and 71 no
New Sharon - 95 yes and 204 no
New Vineyard - 25 yes and 90 no
Starks - 111 yes and 23 no
Temple - 50 yes and 69 no
Vienna - 51 yes and 40 no
Weld - 32 yes and 38 no
Wilton - 262 yes and 280 no

Total - 1,290 yes and 1,429 no, or 2,719 total votes cast.

Results for the first validation vote (which failed on June 13)
Chesterville - 61 yes and 183 no
Farmington - 644 yes and 501 no
Industry - 65 yes and 89 no
New Sharon - 139 yes and 207 no
New Vineyard - 31 yes and 109 no
Starks - 84 yes and 19 no
Temple - 65 yes and 75 no
Vienna - 61 yes and 57 no
Weld - 34 yes and 52 no
Wilton - 273 yes and 349 no

Total - 1,457 yes and 1,641 no, or 3,098 total votes cast.

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126 Responses »

  1. Nancy Porter has done her home work on the untaxed properties.
    Friends have become enemies all the while UMF sits back and laughs at us for fighting it out.
    why has this not been debated before? because its easier to attack the RSU 9 administrators and faculty?
    Its time for "All" to pay their share.

  2. SCOTT ERB, I wish you'd check your statistics closer. AND CARLSON who do you think is the biggest contributing factor in the tax percentages in our towns. THEY all wait to send tax bills for RSU to come up with figures.

  3. And the name calling and fighting go on by people that don't have the chutzpah to use their real names.

  4. @ Woodsman you are missing the point here. The percentage are already in place. The amount of money the towns pay depends on the budget we pass. hence the State is funding at 53 % we the towns must come up with the other 47%. It's the people of RSU 9 who can vote that decide if it passes or not

  5. "Perhaps we should focus our attention to the real path to long term relief- holding our elected representatives accountable for passing laws that ensures the state actually pays for what the law requires to be paid towards education. if 1% of the anger that was directed towards "special education" was focused towards our politicians maybe something really important will happen."

  6. "Perhaps we should focus our attention to the real path to long term relief- holding our elected representatives accountable for passing laws that ensures the state actually pays for what the law requires to be paid towards education. if 1% of the anger that was directed towards "special education" was focused towards our politicians maybe something really important will happen."


  7. To everyone harping on UMF paying taxes,
    UMF is a state-owned university. That means it would be the state who was really paying the property taxes. The state already contributes to the school budget and to our local costs. It would just be a giant complicated money shuffle for them to "pay taxes". I guess people want more state administrative costs so they can feel better about their personal taxes. Asking for money from UMF, is just asking the state for more money than we already get.

  8. It's obvious that this is an important topic to the community and Bulldog readers. But only 102 responses? Come on folks, the article to name the new Wilton Ice Cream store a couple of months ago got 117 responses. A sad comment on our priorities. You now may resume your trolling.

  9. I'm pretty sure homeschooling has something to do with this. When we pay a high rate of taxes and we don't trust this district to do right by our disabled son regarding his academic needs and another things so we homeschool him instead ? I'd say it's fair game to mention that . When you're a Mt.Blue parent maybe you'll understand.

  10. "When you're a Mt.Blue parent maybe you'll understand."

    If your kid isn't in Mt. Blue, you're not a Mt. Blue parent. From what you've said - you have no first hand experience with having a special needs child in this public school system. Home schooling is a choice people are free to make, but please don't advise others on who to trust based on hearsay. Let's get back to the topic of funding public schools.

  11. @ Woodsman. After reading your comments about 50 to 60 percent of your tax dollars going to budget. I took a look at the numbers. It was quite amazing actually. This is based on the proposed budget back in Aug of $33637093. It showed the State portion of the budget was 20,213,319.00 or 61.35% of the total. While the local share for the 10 towns is 12,526,774 or 37.24%. So where are you getting your information from? Check them out yourself if you don't believe me

  12. Can we get real about Homeschooling? I have to work a full time job. This is not a luxury, hobby or something I choose to do for the thrill of filling day after day withe clerical bliss. My son likes to eat, so I go to work so I can feed him. My son likes a roof, even if it does leak. so I go to work to provide it. I pay my property taxes so that he can have a good school to go to, I have roads to drive on without losing my car in a pothole (at least that is the idea), and my town clerk can have the job of taking care of all the administrative stuff that is involved with being a citizen of Franklin County and Maine. Homeschooling is not an option for many parents and to suggest that somehow we should relieve the school of their federal responsibility to provide an education to all children is akin to expecting Santa Clause to bring me a Ferrari.

  13. I took up the Big spending liberals on doing some research.

    You can go to the district website and verify my work.

    Briefly, spending is UP 23 percent in five years.

    4.6 percent annualized. Look at the bar charts and they are up and two the right with a steep staircase pattern.

    I have no idea what they are talking about when they are saying they are spending neutral.

    Interestingly, on the revenue side, It shows the State contributions flat lining with a slight up trend. Around 2 percent annualized.

    I don't understand how they say what they do with implied conviction. Like they are right.
    They are knowingly misleading people. SAD 9 and then some.
    The spending numbers confirm they are out of control and the revenue numbers confirm who is paying for it.

    Yes, the past two years has been better but 8 to 10 percent a year in 2013to 2016

    It was all to get a vote very sad liberal agenda.

  14. I've had other children in the district and I know first hand how this school system works and that's EXACTLY why I do homeschool my special needs child. His needs will be met . I take my job as a parent seriously just as these teachers should.

  15. It is actually amusing. Those who voted yes got the budget from 2016-2017. Those who voted no got the same thing !!!! Why? because the budget now in place, because of STATE LAW, is the last official one, which is the 2016-2017 budget. Also notice, despite the grave claims that art will be cancelled, sports cancelled, music cancelled, 30 employees will loose their jobs If the budget to be voted on became effective nothing has happened. The evil budget that people voted down on Tuesday has been in effect for two and a half months and no catastrophe has occurred.

  16. Guppy

    We actually homeschooled 3 kids so I know about that drill. The last one we sent to high school because we were not qualified to do that level of instruction.

    I am a supporter of homeschooling- I actually had to threaten a lawsuit to allow my homeschool kids to access services offered at the school- the school was very anti homeschooling - but interestingly at the time mount blue was not. We paid property taxes while we were homeschooling.

    We now have a kid in middle school and a kid in high school.Not in the mount blue system. One of them has an IEP so understand challenges as well.

    Did not mean to insult homeschoolers- if you can do it- a lot of parents can not because of work demands- then all the power to you and your child since there really is nothing like a personalized program designed around a student.

  17. It is my understanding that the most recent budget approved at the budget meeting stays in effect following a failed validation vote. Therefore, the district has actually been operating under three budgets: $33.9 million, $33.5 million and now $32.6 million.

  18. @ Bill Reid you really have no clue what you are talking about. If this last budget passed that is exactly what would have happened.. The longer this goes and some how the anti school budget people prevail. it will result in even bigger losses in programs and people

  19. Dear Bill Reid,

    It only went into effect on Sept. 5th. Prior to that the district operated on the budget set July 25. So as of July 1st the district had not been running on 2016-2017 amounts. Until Sept. 5

  20. Administrator, take a look at the white sheet for September's 2017 budget setting information. It says the "Current Budget 2016-2017" is the budget. Did you get it wrong. You did not give us the correct information on the Budget Review sheet !?!?

  21. Bill, we also didn't hire a full time ASL when that budget was officially in place. But in this case, a $32 million budget is in place until the next one is passed. There is no way we'd spend that much money before late October. Thus there is no reason to make layoffs or cuts if we do not expect that budget to last longer than a few weeks.

  22. I suspect they just didn't update the header. All three budget sheets are labeled the same.

    To be clear: Administrator is the Daily Bulldog administrator, not a RSU 9 administrator. We don't draft the budget review sheets.

  23. I think you are confused. Read the the material , the white sheet. It clearly says the current budget for 2016-2017 IS the current budget. Someone in RSU9 ought to do some proof reading. Was the information on the white sheet false?

    Administrator, none of the budgets you cite were ever validated. Only the 2016-2017 was validated, i.e. approved in 2016.

  24. Correct, they were not validated. However, the Maine Revised Statutes (Title 20-A, Chapter 103-A) indicates that "the latest budget approved at a regional school unit budget meeting" is "automatically considered the budget for operational expenses" if a budget should not be approved prior to July 1. Therefore, the district has actually been operating on three different budgets--the $32.6 million budget has only been in operation since early September.

  25. What is a "' a regional school unit budget meeting?" Is it what the Board did last night? Is it the Board meeting done with public vote at a budget setting meeting? Is it a validation referendum vote? This is all vague. Which meeting is iit? Yet the "current budget" as indicated as the 2016-2017 budget on the white sheet, the pink sheet, and the blue sheet which was valid in 2016. How could these various budgets be current given what the white sheet tells us?

    Administrator (whoever he or she is and is either from the school administration or the Daily Bulldog ) tells us "Therefore, the district has actually been operating on three different budgets--the $32.6 million budget has only been in operation since early September. that either it is in effect because it was at the setting meeting, which happened in early September, or the Board's putting it out in the so called "Budget Review" which resulted from some Board meeting. And yet the three sheets all say the CURRENT budget is the 2016-2017 one.

    I almost think i've a chair sitting at the Mad Hatter's tea party.

  26. If we could only put this much energy into working then paying taxes wouldn't be a problem. If everyone payed their taxes we wouldn't have such high taxes. If we stop electing people who use social media to prey on mental instability and insight anger and frustration using blame and victimization, there wouldn't be a problem. In crazy town USA we instead we get up in arms about funding community health and preventative measures and then spend incredible amounts in emotional crisis to treat immediate problems. The outcome in this community, no matter how it turns out, needs to be a win/win for our children and ourselves. We as adults and taxpayers need to listen and speak with honest and clam voices to order to be heard. There are those who want emotional outbursts and crisis mentality to rule our public choices but I guarantee this is only to serve personal/ political gains and not to benefit the needs of kids or taxpayers.