OAKLAND — In its first meeting of 2018, the board representing Regional Service Unit 18 discussed the budget for next academic year, how to fill position opening in the district, and passed an agreement between the district and the town of Oakland.

Superintendent Carl Gartley told the board, which represents Oakland, China, Belgrade, Sidney and Rome, and the 20 residents at the meeting that the first draft of the budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year would be ready by Friday. He also said that the budget would probably be larger than the $36.04 million passed the year prior. Gartley said the possible increase would likely be attributed to a new teacher’s contract that included a bump in salary and the $13.9 million bond to repair facilities and build a new athletics complex that was passed by voters in November.

Gartley also said that because of the size of the projects that the bond is funding, there will likely be a need for several committees, which would be an offshoot of the school board. He said there would definitely need to be a committee to oversee the athletics complex.

Due to the departure of the district’s chief operations officer, the district will be conducting a search to find an individual to fill that role. However, Gartley said he did not want to be hasty in filling the position and the district will be contracting services from former RSU 18 superintendent, Gary Smith. Gartley said that Smith knows the operations and systems of the district and will be a good fit until the position can be filled permanently. He said Smith will be working for the school a few days a week for the second half of this academic year.

In their last order of business, the board voted to approve a memorandum of understanding between the district and the town of Oakland. Gartley said he wanted to draft the memo after learning about a controversy in another local town about work being done by the municipality for the school district, and which tax dollars are paying for those services. He said the memo was drafted so there wouldn’t be a misunderstanding between the district and the town in the future.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg