This week's town meetings

Mar 15, 2017
The direct democracy of New England town meetings gets a plug on the back of the annual report from Burnham, one of six Waldo County towns scheduled to conduct annual meetings this weekend.

The third Saturday in March is typically packed with annual town meetings and 2017 is following that trend, with seven towns gathering residents to talk about the municipal budget, elect town officials and plot the future course of each town. In addition, Belmont residents will meet the following Monday.

mont

Town Meeting: Monday, March 20, 7:30 p.m., Town Office. Elections from the floor for first, second and third selectmen as well as fire chief/fire warden and Regional School Unit 71 director. In addition to budget items, residents will consider ordinance changes for Shoreland Zoning, the Planning Board and Appeals Board. Article 14 on the town warrant asks voters if the town "will vote to allow cable and internet suppliers and/or companies to provide service to the Town of Belmont (i.e., Time Warner)." Town officials also are recommending social service agencies be funded at 20 percent of request amounts.

Brooks

Town meeting (includes elections from the floor): Saturday March 18 at 1 p.m., Morse Memorial School. Voters will pick one selectman (seat held by Darren Mehuren) and three Planning Board members (seats held by Paula Moiran, Patricia Donovan and Steve Littlefield). All carry three-year terms.

The town meeting warrant includes an exploratory question on whether selectmen should draft an ordinance regulating marijuana, which was approved for recreational use in a statewide referendum last November.

In other business, the town is set to cash out its interest in Penobscot Energy Recovery Co.'s solid waste facility in Orrington. Last year, residents voted to start sending their solid waste to the Fiberight facility in Hampden, slated to open in 2018. Brooks' equity in PERC is estimated at less than $3,000.

The overall budget is up slightly, owing in part to a request from selectmen to set aside $25,000 in a reserve account to replace Hall Bridge on Valley Road.

Burnham

Elections: Friday, March 17, 2 to 7 p.m., Town Office. Residents will elects one selectman to a three-year term; there are three candidates on the ballot seeking the position currently held by Roger Chadwick: Brent Chase, Chadwick and George Robison. Also contested is the one-year term of road commissioner currently filled by Roger Huff. Both he and Charles King appear on the ballot. Arlene Miles is seeking re-election as town treasurer for a one-year term and Roland Hughes hopes to serve another three years on the MSAD 53 school Board of Directors. Running again for three-year terms as sexton and a member of the Cemetery Committee is Franz Spiegel, whose term expires this year. In addition, voters will be asked if the town should enact an ordinance prohibiting retail marijuana sales and social clubs.

Town Meeting: Saturday, March 18, 1 p.m., Town Office. According to the town warrant, the largest line changes fall under fire protection and Veterans Memorial Park. While nearly $31,000 was expended in 2016 for fire protection, the recommendation for 2017 is $8,000. On the other end of the spectrum, funding for Veterans Memorial Park is recommended to increase by about $6,000 in 2017. There are several new proposed spending items as well, including funding for Mill Bridge repairs and for Bicentennial events in 2024. A late article asks if residents will authorize selectmen "to pursue and research the process of establishing" an Interstate 95 exit off Johnson Flat Road.

Jackson

Town Meeting (includes elections from the floor): Saturday March 18, 9:30 a.m. Jackson Community Center. Voters will choose a successor to one-term Third Selectman Jim Dickson, who is not seeking re-election.

This year's town meeting warrant is similar to those of past years. Exceptions include a request to approve a new solid waste disposal contract with Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. [editor's not an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that town would vote on switching solid waste disposal facilities]. Residents will also be asked to cash out the town's equity interest ($951) in PERC's facility in Orrington, where the town currently takes its solid waste.

Budget figures were not available at press time.

Knox

Elections: Friday, March 17, 4 to 8 p.m., Town Office. Residents will choose a third selectman, road commissioner, assessor and overseer of the poor for a three-year term.

Town Meeting: Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m., Town Office. On the town meeting warrant, in addition to budget items, are several local issues. Residents will decide on authorizing agency liquor stores to operate on days other than Sunday, spending $40,000 of surplus funds on roads and bridges as well as $200,000 on paving (with another public meeting to come), a recreational marijuana retail establishment and social club moratorium and a handful of other local issues such as a trash disposal contract, ordinance amendments and a variety of questions addressing preservation of old town records. Voters will also consider allowing a vehicle excise tax exemption for permanently disabled veterans.

Morrill

Town Meeting: Saturday, March 18, 9:30 a.m., Community Center. Elections are held during the meeting and voting is by secret ballot. Residents will be asked to choose a third selectman. In addition to the town budget, residents will discuss whether they want to impose a moratorium or have town officials draft a ban on recreational marijuana retail establishments and social clubs.

Thorndike

Town Meeting: Saturday March 18, 9:30 a.m. at the Town Hall. Elections will be held from the floor for first, second and third selectmen, assessors and overseers of the poor, and for RSU 3 school director. Current Selectmen Larry Ward, Robert Carter and Larry Hustus are running for re-election, as is current RSU 3 Director Jessie Hargrove. In addition to the town budget, residents will vote on whether to enact the 2017 Shoreland Zoning Ordinance, available at thorndikeme.com, and whether to authorize bond borrowing of up to $55,000 for improvements to Dolloff Road.

Troy

Elections: Friday, March 17, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Town Office. Residents will choose one selectman and one forest trustee. Richard Montana is running unopposed for the selectman's seat and Steven Piper is running unopposed for the forest trustee position.

Town Meeting: Saturday, March 18, 9 a.m., Troy Central School.

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