BAR HARBOR — Ian Schwartz of Mount Desert, the Democratic nominee for a seat on the Hancock County Commission in the November election, has sent a letter to the Mount Desert Island Regional School System board that is harshly critical of Superintendent Marc Gousse and local police.
The letter reads in part: “Why is the superintendent in charge of literally anything? The man…has never missed an opportunity to shove police and security cameras down the throat of the entire school system. To take one recent example, he placed Mount Desert’s Chief of Police…on his bogus committee to reopen our schools in the fall. Why do we need the police on that committee? What could they possibly contribute on this matter, or any matter?
“The superintendent must resign, and any board member who supports him must also resign. Every police officer in our school is just waiting for an excuse to turn any student with dark skin over to ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
“Every single one of these people needs to get out now. And after they leave, we need this school board to be run by students, teachers and support staff – i.e., the people who actually work at the school, not busybody parents who are terrified of having their property taxes increase by .05 percent this year.”
Under the law that created the MDI Regional School System, school board members are elected by voters in the eight towns that make up the school district.
Both Gousse and Mount Desert and Bar Harbor Police Chief Jim Willis declined to comment on Schwartz’s letter. But Gousse did tell the Islander that he asked Willis to serve on the Safe Return to School Advisory Group because “he serves as a valuable resource in our review of plans for safety and security of schools.”
Gousse said the expertise of Willis and other public safety officials “is helpful in evaluating operational or logistical resources and supports for schools.”
Schwartz ran unopposed in the July 14 Democratic primary for the District 3 seat on the Hancock County Commission. District 3 includes the towns of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, Cranberry Isles, Swan’s Island, Frenchboro, Trenton, Lamoine, Hancock and Franklin.
The general election will be held Nov. 3.