I just finished watching the June 24 Boothbay Harbor Selectboard meeting where each board member shared their ideas or “strategic goals” for the next year. The list of ideas included extending water and sewer to seasonal residences, building additional parking and commissioning a harbor front master plan. Everyone had their own favorite projects but, unfortunately, no one mentioned our region’s school system as something worth tackling.
While earlier this year our schools did receive the $5 million to cover immediate maintenance concerns, those funds were only the beginning as larger infrastructure issues have been identified and need real investment. Furthermore, we have excess physical infrastructure but lack a comprehensive approach to working across town lines to figure out a way forward that protects the future of our local school system while demonstrating fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers of this region. This year’s $5M bond approval was a fire drill as town leadership jumped into the discussion only when the trustees’ approval was imminent.
I urge town leaders to prioritize the health and future of our regional school system and ensure this topic is its top priority in the coming year and beyond.