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Conflict nixes South Thomaston school board appointment

By Stephen Betts | Aug 01, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts South Thomaston's municipal building

South Thomaston — The best laid plan by South Thomaston to fill a long-vacant school board seat has gone awry.

The Select Board voted July 9 to appoint Richard Harris to represent the town on the Regional School Unit 13 Board.

RSU 13 Superintendent John McDonald said Thursday night,, Aug. 1, when he read in The Courier-Gazette that the appointment was made, he contacted Harris.

During that conversation, the superintendent learned that Harris' wife is a teacher in the district. State law prohibits spouses of school district employees from serving on a school board in that district.

McDonald said he thanked Harris for his desire to volunteer.

Harris was to fill the seat previously held by Jason McLean, who resigned his post in April. McLean was elected as a write-in candidate at the March 2018 town meeting to a two-year term on the Regional School Unit 13 Board, succeeding Jesse Butler.

South Thomaston has one representative on the 10-member board that covers Rockland, Owls Head, Thomaston and Cushing, as well as South Thomaston.

The Select Board has the authority to appoint a replacement until the next regular town meeting in March 2020.

"Back to the drawing board," South Thomaston Town Administrator Owen Casas said.

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