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Upton Secession Committee Likely to Disband

Unless several more Upton residents show interest in joining the newly formed Mendon Upton Regional School District Secession Committee, the Board of Selectmen stated they would likely agree to disband the Committee. The announcement came during an October 18 meeting.

The Board formed the nonbinding Secession Committee over the summer at the request of an informal citizen's petition. The Board also approved a mission statement for the Committee whose purpose it stated was to research and then provide information as to the process and costs for Upton to withdraw from the Regional School District. In the last several years, many Upton residents have voiced their displeasure with the regionalized School District based on the fact that over the last few years Mendon residents have rejected Proposition 2 ½ overrides for the schools before eventually passing overrides for much less.

Initially, three Upton residents submitted their names to join the Secession Committee, however, one of the three has since left.

"I think we just drop it," said Selectman Ken Picard. "There doesn't seem to be a pressing need for this." Picard went on to say he believes there are more important issues to focus on.

The Board decided to give the Committee until the end of the month to see if any additional residents are interested in serving on it. If not, the Committee will likely disband.

In other news that evening also having to do with the Regional School District, the Board met with several members of the School Committee including Donna Coakley McGowan, Kathleen Drennan, and Superintendent Joseph Maruszczak concerning the recent resignation of School Committee member and Upton resident Michelle Goodwin and the process to replace her. Goodwin abruptly resigned on October 5 after being elected last May.

According to Coakley McGowan, she had heard of one person interested in the seat but there is "nothing concrete yet."

The Board, the School Committee members, and Maruszczak will interview potential candidates during an open session and then select their top pick. All agreed it was critical that whatever information came to fruition about any candidates should be shared among everyone. Picard also suggested that the Board and School Committee may want to solicit qualified residents themselves.

"The key is to get quality people to apply," said Selectman Chair Robert Fleming.

Any Upton resident interested in sitting on the School Committee should submit a letter of intent to the School Committee or email schoolcommittee@mursd.org.




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