There will be no advisory referendum in June on whether Rockland District High School and Georges Valley High School should consolidate in the fall of 2011.

The Regional School Unit 13 board on April 1 rejected 9-3 a request to hold the nonbinding referendum in the six communities that make up the school district. Board members Josiah Wilson of St. George and Steven Dyer and Patricia Moran Wotton of Rockland voted in support of the proposal. Board member Julie Sanborn of Thomaston was absent.

Board member Loren Andrews of Cushing said there was not enough information yet to provide to the public for a meaningful referendum to be held. He said he might support one in the fall after more specific plans for consolidation have been developed.

Board member Jamie Doubleday of Thomaston, who voted against the consolidation, said she also opposes a referendum. She said she supports consolidation but wants more information. She disputed claims by some that the plan to have eighth and ninth graders at the GVHS building in Thomaston and the 10th, 11th and 12th graders at the RDHS building was in effect closing a school and required a public vote.

“To say that we are violating a law by not asking for voter approval is a red herring,” Doubleday said.

Board member Brian Messing of Rockland said he also disagreed with some people who said during the public comment session that the board was ignoring the will of the public. He said most people he has spoken to in the community support the consolidation.

“The statements made here by the public are not more important [and do not] have more weight than those of someone I talk to if I’m at EBS,” Messing said.

Board member James Kalloch of Rockland said more than 90 percent of the people he speaks to also support consolidation.

But Wilson said he could not understand why the board would refuse to hold a referendum to find out about the public’s stance. He said it was not a good civics lesson to children for the board to refuse to hold the vote.

Board Chairwoman Ruth Anne Hohfeld of South Thomaston pointed out that state law gives the authority on assignment of students to schools and the board can’t abdicate that responsibility.

During the public comment session, several people continued to urge the board to hold a referendum. Tom Mellor of Thomaston said the public has not been shown how consolidation would benefit students.

The board also approved at the April 1 meeting the reassignment of principals for the next school year. St. George School Principal Larry Schooley will be principal at Georges Valley High School next year. Georges Valley Principal Rob Beverage will become principal of Thomaston Grammar School. And Thomaston Grammar School Principal Mary Alice McLean will become principal of both the St. George and Gilford Butler schools. She said she expects to nominate Schooley to be the principal of the eighth- and ninth-grade school that will be housed at Georges Valley in the fall of 2011 and thought this would help with the transition.

Superintendent Judy Lucarelli said that the day after the board voted in February to proceed with consolidation, the administration began its planning.

The board also voted 10-2 (Wilson and Dyer opposed) on April 1 to create a committee that will come up with possible names, mascots and colors for the consolidated high school. The committee will come up with 10 recommendations that will be presented to students and perhaps to the public through some type of survey.