YARMOUTH — Three candidates are competing for two seats on the Yarmouth School Committee in a year with no other contested municipal races on the June 14 ballot.

Incumbent committee member Leah Guay is facing a challenge from Joan Dollarhite and Anne Fleming. There are two open three-year terms on the committee.

Guay was elected to the committee in 2013 and said it would be good for the board to have continuity in its members. During her first term, she helped hire a superintendent and create a strategic plan for the schools and wants to continue that work, she said.

A retired insurance agent, Guay has a son who graduated from Yarmouth High School and a daughter attending the school system. If elected for a second term, she would like to have a comprehensive review of advanced placement courses at the high school.

“Do we offer the right classes, do we have enough, do we have too many, is it too much pressure for our kids?” she said.

Although some residents oppose next year’s proposed $23.1 million budget, which includes a 5 percent spending increase, Guay said she stands behind the proposal.


“I think we asked a lot of questions, I think we made wise decisions with the taxpayers’ money and we are not being careless with it,” she said.

Dollarhite, who has a son in the fifth grade, said her work on a task force about start times for middle and high schools led her to run for a School Committee seat. Dollarhite ran an unsuccessful campaign for Town Council in 2014.

“The more work I did with the School Committee, the more interested I was in the issues they are dealing with,” Dollarhite said. She said she doesn’t have a policy platform, but wants to make sure Yarmouth is forward-thinking in educating its students for future challenges.

She supports the proposed school budget. “They are not making arbitrary decisions with our money,” Dollarhite said.

Fleming, a political newcomer, said she wants to be a voice for young students on the committee. She has three children in elementary and preschool and says she feels that the perspective of young families is sometimes missing from the committee’s work.

“While the committee is keeping all the students in mind, I think there is a voice missing on the committee from someone who is in the thick of it with younger kids,” Fleming said.


Although she brings a specific perspective to the board, she does not have an agenda, Fleming added.

“My goal in winning a spot on the School Committee is I think I can add a thoughtful, reasonable voice on the committee,” she said.

Other municipal officials on the June ballot are incumbent Town Councilors Patricia Thompson and Robert Waeldner, who are running unopposed for new three-year terms. There are no candidates on the ballot for a five-year seat on Yarmouth Water District board of trustees.

Residents also will be asked to formally ratify a $23.1 million school budget at the June 14 election.

The school budget ratification vote follows an annual town meeting to be held Tuesday, June 7, when attendees will vote on a combined $36 million municipal, school and county budget.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Harrison Middle School. The $11.9 million municipal spending plan is approximately $66,000 less than last year. Because of a town tax revaluation, the tax rate per $1,000 worth of property will drop from $21.56 this year to $18.20 for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Yarmouth’s share of county taxes is increasing about $59,700 from last year, to $1.03 million.


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