WATERVILLE — Julian Payne, a member of both the Waterville Board of Education and Waterville Charter Commission, announced Tuesday that he plans to resign from the school board in two weeks as he is buying a house in Cornville and plans to move there by the end of the year.

Payne, 51, has been on the school board 2.5 years. He said he will remain a member of the Charter Commission as he will stay in Waterville at least until his home here sells.

Julian Payne, who has made regular appearances at Waterville City Council meetings and sits on the school board and the charter commission, is resigning from the school board and moving to Cornville. Morning Sentinel file photo

“My moving date isn’t until August and I have to sell this house and pack everything up and I’d like to see the charter commission through,” he said.

Payne came on the political scene at the same time as Nick Isgro, who later became mayor and now is a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate. Both he and Payne opposed the city’s plan to institute the purple bag, pay-as-you-throw system of trash removal, and Payne said he counts Isgro as a close friend who will sell his house for him.

Isgro appointed Payne to be a trustee of the Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District Board of Trustees in January. Payne said he gave his notice to that board as well.

Payne and his wife, Michelle, a registered nurse at Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, had been looking for a home closer to her job and their Cornville house will be only 11 minutes from the hospital, he said.

Being on the school board requires a lot of time and effort, he said, and he thinks he would not be able to give it the proper attention while he is packing and moving. The school budget is completed and he said leaving in two weeks will allow time for someone to run for his spot in November.

Payne said he is most proud of being a voice for constituents, thinking outside the box and helping to establish the Waterville Charitable Giving Foundation, which seeks donations from wills, estates and gifts to supplement school needs that are not covered by the budget. He said he has enjoyed his time on the school board.

“I’ve loved it,” he said. “It’s been tough. There’s been tough decisions. It’s a great learning experience.”

Waterville Schools Superintendent Eric Haley said Tuesday that he has enjoyed working with Payne.

“He is very present in the schools, he attends a lot of different functions, he’s learned a lot about schools that he didn’t know, which is true for new school board members,” Haley said. “He has put that knowledge to work.”

Payne notified Haley and board Chair Joan Phillips-Sandy of his intention to resign after Monday’s school board meeting.

“I thanked him for his service,” Haley said, adding that he appreciates that Payne is always direct with him.

“He’ll tell me when he likes something and he tells me when he doesn’t like something, and I can deal with that,” Haley said.

He added that Payne goes out and canvasses his ward a lot about issues and returns with an honest assessment of where his constituents stand.

Phillips-Sandy said Tuesday that Payne has taken his responsibilities as a board member “very seriously.”

“He asks lots of questions and when he gets his answers he does what he thinks is right,” she said. “He is a strong advocate for our budget after first working to lower the request to the city. He has also been on the Curriculum Committee with me, and he has worked hard to understand that process. I wish him all the best with his new life as a country gentleman.

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