Freeport council appoints Larkins to School Board

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FREEPORT — The Town Council on Tuesday appointed Nelson Larkins to the open seat on the Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors.

Larkins, who had served as a member and chairman of the board from 2009 until he was unseated in the Nov. 4 election, applied for the vacancy after Peter Murray resigned Nov. 19.

Larkins, who was the only applicant, told the council he is looking forward to being back on the board.

“I think the school has a lot of work to do, with Durham, Pownal, and Freeport together again,” he said. “And there are a lot of exciting new projects. The high school renovation, a superintendent. I hope to help with all that.”

Larkins said he was very grateful for the opportunity to try and get back on the board. On Election Day he lost to newcomer Lindsay Sterling, who received 2,010 votes, and Beth Parker, who received 1,901. Larkins received 1,454 votes.

Murray, who was chairman of the Freeport Withdrawal Committee, on Nov. 24 said a reason for his resignation was that after working so hard for Freeport to form its own school district, he isn’t in favor of a consolidated district with the other two towns.

The town on Nov. 4 voted 2,228 to 2,152 to stay in the school unit it has shared with Durham and Pownal since 2009. 

Murray also said he felt “awkward” about being on a board he had been negotiating against since January, when the withdrawal committee was formed.

Murray on Nov. 19 said he would step down from his seat Dec. 31, unless the seat is filled sooner. At the Nov. 19 meeting, the board also decided to hold off on naming a chairman until the seat was filled.

On the application for the open seat, Larkins responded to a question asking why he wanted to be on the School Board by saying he loves the town and the schools, and wants to see them do well.

“I want both to grow and succeed and I know I can help ‘mend fences’ and work productively with Pownal and Durham while pushing for Freeport’s needs,” he said.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.