ELLSWORTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A question to begin the RSU 24 withdrawal process passed convincingly in Ellsworth, Hancock, and Lamoine Tuesday.
In Ellsworth, it was a 3-1 vote in favor of the withdrawal.
"[The vote] exceeded what I thought it was going to do," said Mark Rosborough, one of the Ellsworth residents pushing for the city to leave the RSU.
Rosborough said the campaign started just five weeks ago, and had a core group of three people behind it.
They distributed campaign signs that said, "Take back our schools!" to the towns of Lamoine and Hancock.
Superintendent Suzanne Lukas said she hopes the towns take more time before formally withdrawing.
"We're disappointed, I think, that these communities wish to withdraw, however we're not terribly surprised," said Lukas.
"Three years in the life of an organization is a very short time frame, and I do think that the legislature allowing towns to pull out after just two and a half years is a bit premature," said Lukas.
The towns have a long and detailed process ahead.
Next, each town needs to form a withdrawal committee to submit a proposal to the Department of Education.
If the commissioner approves the proposal, the question goes back to the town to vote.