To the Editor:

The group Moving Freeport Forward is relieved at the narrow passage of the high school renovation Tuesday.

With this safety net in place, Freeport is protected from a worst-case scenario and has two choices Dec. 17: reclaiming our own excellent, local school district; or staying within Regional School Unit 5.

Unfortunately, a repaired building alone will not raise Freeport High School’s achievement levels back to where they were before consolidation. The contentious RSU 5 environment is driving bad bargains that serve neither our taxpayers nor our students.

Tuesday’s vote is a prime example. Even when faced with an escalating level of overcrowding, emerging safety issues and academic stagnation, Durham and Pownal both voted overwhelmingly against a stripped-down high school renovation project. While Freeport prevailed by sheer numbers, passing the bond by less than 1 percent, this vote makes clear the fact that our towns are simply not on the same page. It’s time to make a clean break and get a fresh start.

RSU 24 in Ellsworth broke apart last night after overwhelming votes in multiple communities. However, Ellsworth High School will still accept neighboring students. There is a path and a model, and we need to start that journey on Dec. 17 with a vote to withdraw from RSU 5.

Tuesday made it clear that Freeport voters have a choice on Dec. 17. We can choose continuing conflict and uncertainty or we can choose a fresh start.

Let’s take pride in our schools and choose a model of governance that allows flexibility, local control and respectful cooperation between all three towns. It’s time to move forward.

Charly Haversat