BATH — With one of its founding towns gone, the Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors is changing how it represents its remaining communities.
West Bath withdrew June 30, after voting overwhelmingly in January to leave the district. The School Board position held by West Bath resident Kyle Yacoben became vacant, and the four remaining RSU 1 communities – Bath, Arrowsic, Phippsburg and Woolwich – had to determine the best way for the board to represent its constituents.
The Maine Department of Education approved the district’s reapportionment plan June 30, according to a notice posted at rsu1.org.
Starting with the Nov. 3 election, all board members will be elected by all RSU 1 voters. The RSU’s previous seven districts no longer exist.
The board will continue to have seven members. Four will be “municipal-residence” positions, with representatives required to have a voting residence in a specific community. The other three are “unrestricted-residence” positions, to be filled by anyone with a voting residence in the RSU.
This way, every municipality will have an RSU 1 board election every year, and all RSU 1 residents will vote each time, according to the district.
Nomination papers became available Aug. 7 for two unrestricted-residence seats. One is Yacoben’s, and the other belongs to Stephen August, who has reached the end of a three-year term.
August said in an email Aug. 7 that he plans to seek re-election.
“We have successfully come through a very challenging year,” he said. “Next is strengthening the RSU academically and moving on with the Morse (high school renovation/reconstruction) project.
Municipal-residence seats are held by Jennifer Ritch-Smith (Woolwich), Megan Fuller (Bath), Tim Harkins (Arrowsic) and William Perkins (Phippsburg), according to RSU 1 Administrative Assistant Robert Morris. The seats held by August and Alan Walton, and the vacant seat, are unrestricted-residence seats.
Because August, Fuller and Walton each have Bath voting residences, they had to voluntarily agree which of them would hold the Bath resident position, and Fuller was chosen to do so, Morris explained.
Nomination papers must be returned by Sept. 21.