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Andover voters move forward to withdraw
ANDOVER- Residents voiced their opinions by a unanimous vote last week, 221 to 39, to raise $24,000 to further Andover’s mission to secede from SAD 44 in Bethel.
“You close our school, you close our town,” stated Paula Lee, a On Our Own Committee member.
On Thursday afternoon, the town clerk was drafting up a letter to the Commissioner of the Department of Education to proceed with the town’s next step, which is to appoint a committee comprised of a select person, a current school board member from Andover, a person from the petitioning committee and a person from the general public.
Select board chairman, Susan Merrow, noted, “The Andover selectboard had a special meeting on Wednesday to begin forming the mandatory committee. They appointed Mark Shraiberg to fill the school board position and myself to fill the selectboard spot.”
The On Our Own Committee was slated to meet last night to discuss who, from their group, they would like to appoint to the negotiating committee and who from the general public would serve, as well.
The selectboard will be meeting today at 3 p.m. to make the recommended appointments for those additional positions, as well as any others the commissioner deems necessary. If anyone is interested in being considered to serve, you are asked to contact the town office immediately.
All committee meetings are open to the public. The On Our Own Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.
“This has been a lot of hard work,” noted Lee. “It’s been very helpful to have the advice of Steve Hudspeth,” a local seasonal resident and attorney by profession.
Andover’s next steps will include the forming of the committee, negotiations with the Department of Education and SAD 44 and eventually another town vote to finalize the secession.