Mount Desert Town Clerk Claire Woolfolk left, swears in newly elected officials Tuesday, including, from left, Todd Graham, Teresa King-LeClair, Mia Brown and Brian Reilly. PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN

Budgets pass, McFarland honored at town meeting



MOUNT DESERT — Todd Graham and Teresa King-LeClair won three-year terms on the Mount Desert School Committee in Monday’s election.

Graham, in his first run for office, led the balloting with 92 votes. Incumbent King-LeClair had 89. They were followed by Travis Jones with 67 votes and incumbent John “J.B.” Brown with 61.

Mia Thompson was elected to the MDI High School trustee’s board with five write-in votes and has agreed to serve.

Matt Hart was re-elected to the Board of Selectmen with 136 votes, and Brian Reilly was elected to his first term with 129. They were the only two candidates.

Tom Richardson, who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board eight years ago and subsequently was elected to two three-year terms, chose not to run again. He previously had served on the Warrant Committee for many years and as a volunteer firefighter.

At Tuesday evening’s open town meeting, Board of Selectmen Chairman John Macauley, a close friend of Richardson’s, praised him for spending “decades of his life in community service.”

The 116 voters at town meeting approved all 66 warrant articles, nearly all of them unanimously. They passed a municipal budget for next fiscal year totaling $16.43 million and a $3.96 million budget for Mount Desert Elementary School.

‘One wealthy guy’

McFarland bench (1)

Outgoing Mount Desert Elementary School Principal Scott McFarland and his wife, Joy, sit on the bench given to the school in his honor by the PTO, at the town meeting Tuesday evening. PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

A standing ovation for Scott McFarland, who will retire June 30 after 14 years as the school’s principal, highlighted the town meeting. The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) presented a wooden bench that will be placed in the school’s garden in his honor. The PTO cited his strong support for the Growing Gardens, Growing Minds project, which included construction of the school’s greenhouse last year. An identical bench will be placed in honor of Northeast Harbor builder Bob Falt, who donated labor and materials for the project.

Jessie Greenbaum, chairman of Growing Gardens, Growing Minds, said McFarland has meant so much to the school and community.

“As principal, Scott has insisted that students think of each other as family,” she said. “In this family, we respect each other, we help each other, and we work together. This is a motto that will enrich the lives of all of us.”

At his last town meeting as principal, McFarland told of the day he found himself playing golf with someone he had never met who was quite wealthy.

“When he asked me to tell him about myself, I started gushing about my job as principal and about this school and community,” McFarland said. “And he said, ‘Wow, you’re a wealthy guy.’ And I said, ‘But you’re the one with the 200-foot yacht and everything.’

“He said, ‘No, I might be rich, but what you have is wealth.’ ”

McFarland said he has been humbled by the trust that parents and the community have placed in him over the years.

“I leave all of you being one wealthy guy.”

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Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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