George Stevens Academy welding teacher Corey Esposito speaks at the Surry Annual Town Meeting Monday in favor of additional tuition funding for the town academy in Blue Hill. The funding request was approved 95-61. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN

Former town treasurer elected to Surry Select Board

SURRY — By a margin of nearly 2-1, voters Friday elected former town treasurer Tom Welgoss to the Surry Select Board.

Welgoss took 218 votes to incumbent Betsy Armstrong’s 128.

In other election business, Kristen McFarland was elected to the School Board with 260 votes. Incumbent board member Don Driscoll was returned to the board with 210 votes. Candidate Joshua Radel took 69 votes.

The Select Board is having a special meeting on Thursday at 9 a.m. to handle business matters regarding the new board member such as who will be chairman and assessor, according to Town Clerk Angela Smith.

Smith, who has worked for the town of Surry since 2005, has announced her resignation. She will be relocating with her husband, Dirk, who has taken a position in Lincoln, so the board will also discuss handling Smith’s replacement.

In other business, residents voted 95-61 to approve George Stevens Academy’s request for an additional $1,700 in tuition per student. Surry usually sends 40 students to GSA, so that total is an additional $68,000.

If the request had not been granted, parents of children attending GSA would have been responsible for paying the $1,700, according to information at the meeting.

Residents spoke both for and against granting the request, including Surry School Board member Don Driscoll.

“I’m opposed to adding that extra $68,000 for 40 students,” Driscoll said. “We have no oversight at all of GSA. We have no input at all. We have no voting rights.”

Driscoll said there’s no information about budget cuts or additions the school may have made.

GSA parent and former School Board member Mary Beth Mitchell spoke in favor of approving the additional tuition, stating her family would find the $1,700 in their budget but that many families in Surry would not have it.

“If their parents can’t afford that extra tuition what are these kids supposed to do?” Mitchell asked.

GSA welding teacher Corey Esposito spoke in favor of granting the request.

Esposito said the school has raised over a half a million in its latest fundraising effort.

“We’re trying to ease the load on you,” Esposito said.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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