Robbinston Voters Say “Close it.”

Tag: 
Town News

By Dorothy Johnson

One hundred and ninety Robbinston voters turned out on Monday to cast their straw vote ballot on the future of Robbinston Grade School.  One hundred and ten voters said, “Close it,” while eighty voters said, “Keep it open.” Although this was a straw vote meaning that it is not binding, the school board was given a clear answer to their question. 

Decreases in the school’s subsidies from Augusta have been influencing how much money has to be raised locally to keep the school open and many residents felt that the low number of students did not warrant the cost of keeping the students in town for their education.

First selectman Tom Moholland sent a letter to Robbinston tax payers last Wednesday and explained his reasoning for wanting the school closed.  His letter was rebutted later in the week with letters written by Lea McLean and the Friends of the School. Voters had ample opportunity to consider both points of view and speak their minds at the ballot box.  They cast their ballots and spoke to close the school.

 

Several more steps have to be taken in this process and voters will probably be required to vote again through the summer. The State of Maine has a process which must be followed, but because Robbinston is now an independent entity (i.e. does not belong to an AOS or Union) as far as the school is concerned, the process for the town to close the school will be abbreviated.  The Commissioner of Education must approve the closing of Robbinston Grade School.  The voice of the voters will help him make this decision.