SAD 51 voters OK $35M budget; Cumberland elects Perfetti to board

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CUMBERLAND — By a 2-1 margin Tuesday, School Administrative District 51 voters approved a $35 million budget for fiscal year 2017.

Cumberland voters also elected former Town Councilor Mike Perfetti to the SAD 51 Board of Directors.

The budget passed in Cumberland, 620-327, and in North Yarmouth, 933-373, according to unofficial results. The combined tally was 1,553 to 700.

The spending plan reflects a 3.5 percent increase over current spending.

The budget total, with anticipated revenues subtracted, would produce a proposed tax assessment on the Cumberland-North Yarmouth district of $22.5 million, a nearly $620,000 rise from the current fiscal year.

Cumberland’s tax rate is projected to increase by 1.1 percent, adding 20 cents per $1,000 of valuation, or a $70 annual increase on a home valued at $350,000.

North Yarmouth’s rate would rise 1.1 percent, for an extra 19 cents on the tax rate, or $66.50 for a $350,000 home.

Revenues include $11.9 million in state subsidy and the use of $300,000 from the district’s fund balance. Regular instruction, the largest piece of the budget, is $15.6 million, a hike of about $374,000.

Thanking voters from both towns in a message Tuesday night, SAD 51 Superintendent Jeff Porter wrote that the budget “balances the needs of our students with the ability of our community to support our high-performing school district.”

“In addition to the annual increase needed to fund the district’s fixed costs, the newly implemented Strategic Plan is the driver behind the remainder of the modest 3.5 percent overall increase,” he added. “The Strategic Plan is the critical vision that will carry our schools to new levels of quality for the youth of our community.”

Perfetti won the one contested seat on the SAD 51 Board of Directors, defeating Pete Wilson 523-322.

“I’m excited, I’m honored, and I’m looking forward to serving,” Perfetti said Tuesday night.

Perfetti, who operates Cape Shore – a Yarmouth business that designs, imports and sells souvenirs – served two terms on the Cumberland Town Council, from 2007-2013, prior to which he was on the town’s Recreation Committee.

Wilson, who worked in the field of corporate income tax before retirement, was appointed by the Town Council in 2013 to fill one of two vacancies on the School Board. Elected to a full term the following year, he resigned from the board last September, citing differences over board procedures, including issues related to finances.

Uncontested seats

SAD 51 School Board representatives from Cumberland, Mike Brown and Gigi Sanchez, were both uncontested in their re-election bids, receiving 659 and 586 votes, respectively.

Kevin Desmond was also uncontested in his bid for a North Yarmouth seat on the SAD 51 board, receiving 1,055 votes. In that town, David Hyde netted 1,060 votes for the Cemetery Commission, being the sole person to run for that post. Three Budget Committee seats drew no candidates.

Additionally, Cumberland councilors Peter Bingham and Mike Edes were uncontested, receiving 700 and 644 votes, respectively. Also in Cumberland, William Lunt III earned 769 votes for an uncontested Portland Water District post.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.