The town's representative to the Regional School Unit 71 Board of Directors resigned on March 1 for personal reasons.

Bernadette Dutra was elected to the inaugural RSU 71 board in 2015, prevailing in a three-way race that included longtime Morrill school board representative Jean Dube. Dutra leaves midway through her first term, which expires in 2018.

Morrill has been at the center of a storm over the school board's priorities in recent months as residents objected to the board's decision to pursue $7.6 in high school renovations while putting much-needed repairs to the dilapidated K-2 Gladys Weymouth Elementary School in Morrill and its counterpart Ames Elementary School in Searsmont on the back burner.

But Dutra said her decision to quit the board was not related this debate. Nor was it about her work with other members of the school board, which she found rewarding.

"I thoroughly enjoyed working with the board," she said. "Morrill was hard to represent; I'm not going to lie. But there were no conflicts with the board."

Dutra said she believes she has done what she can in the two years she served and now needs to focus on work and raising her son. She added that she hopes to return at some point to local politics.

"I'm going on a positive note," she said.

The town has taken steps to maintain representation on the board until a permanent replacement can be elected. Joyce Scott, the town's accounts manager, said the superintendent advised selectmen to appoint someone to fill the remainder of Dutra's term, then have voters elect a representative in 2018.

Typically, the town elects its school representative at its annual town meeting. But Scott said the there wasn't time before this year's March 18 meeting.

In the meantime, Scott said, two or three people have expressed interest in filling the vacant seat. Selectmen probably will appoint a replacement when they meet March 13, she said. There are two budget meetings before then, and Scott has volunteered to represent the town at those but said she does not wish to serve longer.

"I don't want there to be gaps in our participation," she said. "But for a couple of meetings, I'd be happy to do that."