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School Committee rescinds vote, seats Waters

Susan Waters. (click for larger version)
September 05, 2011
STURBRIDGE — The three-month battle between the Board of Selectmen and the Tantasqua Regional School Committee ended on Wednesday night, Aug. 31, as members of the TRSC voted unanimously to seat Susan Waters, who had been appointed to the committee by selectmen on July 11.

The decision followed a lengthy stalemate between the two boards, as four of the five Sturbridge selectmen point to a 1952 regional agreement stating that selectmen of a given town should have the authority to appoint a new member to the school committee if a seat held by a member from that town becomes vacant. TRSC members believe that the past practice of joint appointment between selectmen of a given town and the TRSC is the appropriate method, voting on July 7 to not seat any person unilaterally appointed by selectmen from a certain town. They rescinded that vote last Wednesday night before seating Waters.

"We did what we thought was best for the taxpayers of this district," said TRSC member James Ehrhard, of Sturbridge, who made the motion to rescind the committee's July 7 vote and seat Waters. "Someone had to be the adult in this situation and find the middle ground. We certainly don't want to risk paying legal fees to deal with this situation instead of paying a coach or a teacher. The resolution that I fashioned to seat Ms. Waters and amend the language is the best way to find that middle ground."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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