Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Thursday, April 28, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 17


home : letters : letters to the editor April 28, 2016

1/8/2014 3:51:00 PM

Two hundred ninety-one Wiscasset voters participated yesterday, in what some locals called going in, the most important election in Wiscasset history.

The vote established a new Wiscasset School Committee and elected five members to that body: Steve Smith, Sharon Nichols, Glen Craig, Eugene Stover, and Colleen Bennett. They may have already held their first meeting by the time you read this.

They start out under the gun because Wiscasset formally leaves RSU 12 on July 1, and becomes a stand alone school system.

As quickly as possible, the new board needs to examine everything that goes into operating a school, consider what will work for their town and put it into effect. It is a monumental amount of work and we commend all of the candidates for the school committee for being willing to take that on.

Much the same as towns with little to no historical affinity for each other were forced to come together and make something work, as they were by Gov. Baldacci's half-baked school consolidation plan, we have never seen a school system formed like this on the fly, as it were. It's a tall order and a fitting end to a badly enacted idea.

It is something of a surprise that voters decided against putting Doug Smith on their new committee, a founding member of the Wiscasset Educational Research Panel on the committee.

Smith was the guy who decided early on that RSU 12 was not serving Wiscasset well and he and Sharon Nichols, as WERP, did much of the legwork that prompted Wiscasset to consider withdrawal in the first place.

With all due respect to the other candidates, Smith is uniquely qualified to lead Wiscasset through this transition. We are not sure what his non-election means, if anything, but TV talking heads, no doubt, could fill hours of air time speculating.

In any event, the new Wiscasset School Committee has its work cut out for it and we wish them well.

It remains to be seen if the town's education costs actually do go down, as WERP predicts; if they actually can deliver a more cost efficient education to their children, but that burden is solely Wiscasset's now, which is what the voters wanted.

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