Informal meeting urges unity

HOLLIS – A state representative who heads a legislative committee studying state law governing how cooperative school districts are formed and dissolved urged Hollis and Brookline residents to work together.

“Whatever we do, we have to do it together. We can’t set up trenches on either side of the town line,” said Dick Drisko, the District 5 lawmaker who represents Hollis, Brookline and Mason.

Drisko was one of five state lawmakers who attended an informal informational meeting at the Hollis/Brookline Middle School on Wednesday.

The discussion was led by Jim Murphy, chairman of the Brookline Co-op Study Committee and a non-voting member of the Hollis Co-op Study Committee.

Both committees are exploring options under current state laws governing cooperative school districts.

The studies have been motivated by overcrowding at the high school and population projections, what is known among planners as “buildout.”

Murphy, who lives in Brookline, said many of his neighbors are worried that Hollis could withdraw from the district, burdening Brookline unfairly.

The focus of the meeting, attended by about 30 people, including several candidates for the Legislature, was to point out what Murphy has called “inherent imbalances” in laws regulating cooperatives.