A referendum asking residents whether Alternative Organizational Structure 92 should be terminated was passed Tuesday evening by a 253-vote margin with all three communities voting in favor.

Vassalboro, Waterville and Winslow residents passed the referendum 386 votes to 133. The referendum needed only one community voting in the majority to pass.

Turnout for the vote suffered in each community due to the snowstorm that caused poor road conditions and canceled school.

The vote tally came out to be: 81 to 13 in Vassalboro, 122 to 62 in Winslow, and 183 to 58 in Waterville.

School officials had been pitching the dissolution as a way to escape a poorly designed governance system, restore local control and lighten the workload on overburdened administrators.

Once the dissolution of the AOS takes effect in June, the communities will continue to lean on one another financially and enter into an interlocal agreement in order to contract services with each other, including transportation, maintenance, payroll and others.


Each community will hire its own superintendent and additional personnel to perform the roles now being done by the AOS central office staff.

“With the AOS 92 structure being such that each of the three municipalities has their own school budget and contracts, that means our administration has to do three times the work and attend three times the meetings as administrators in other smaller municipal or RSU districts where they only have one budget and one set of contracts,” Joel Selwood, chairman of the Winslow School Board, said recently in an email.

Winslow resident Carmen Bourgoyn cited the heavy workload on the administration as a reason for her vote to dissolve the district.

“The superintendent should have time to do his job and not just work on budgets and contracts,” Bourgoyn said.

She also voiced disappointment in the state not following through on funding promises such as the financial incentive to restructure school districts as regional service centers — which AOS 92 pursued until the state withdrew an offer to pay communities that restructured $246 per student and dropped it to just $46 per student. The communities don’t plan to pursue that option.

Workers who were handing out ballots at the Winslow Town Office said they had a busy morning when the polls opened at 8 a.m., but visits from voters started to become sporadic by noon.


Likewise in Waterville, only a little over 100 people had turned out to vote at the junior high school by 2:30 p.m. The poll workers said it had been busier than they had expected in the morning, but few showed up after noon.

In Vassalboro, about 70 to 80 residents had cast their ballot by mid-afternoon.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239


Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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