Belmont

Meeting: Monday, March 15, 7:30 p.m., at Belmont Community Building (613 Back Belmont Road)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting.

In a county where town meetings can take up the better part of a day (see Freedom), Belmont residents are notoriously quick to take care of business. Last year’s session clocked in at just under an hour. Town officers serve one-year terms and are nominated from the floor. Deputy Clerk Kristin Waterman said the Town Office had no information on who would seek election or re-election. Waterman anticipated the budget would be about the same as last year, with no outstanding issues on the warrant.

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Brooks

Meeting: Saturday, March 20, 1 p.m., at Morse Memorial School (27 School St.)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting.

Although the town budget is still in the works, selectmen  anticipate no major change, according to the Town Office. The town is currently operating on a $610,000 budget.

A three-year term on the board of selectmen, currently held by Linda Lord, who is not seeking re-election, is available, as well as a one-year term, held by Ben Lufkin. Lufkin is seeking re-election.

Townspeople also will be asked to elect a member to the Maine School Administrative District 3 board for a three-year term. W. Michael Switzer currently holds the spot. Other positions up for election are fire chief, road commissioner, planning board member and cemetery trust committee member.

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Burnham

Meeting: Saturday, March 20, 1 p.m. at the Reynolds Corner Municipal Building (247 South Horseback Road)
Elections: Friday, March 19 from 2-7 p.m. at the Reynolds Corner Municipal Building.

George Robison will seek a second three-year term as selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor. Robison faces competition from Brent Chase. Town Clerk Carolyn Hamel, Treasurer Arlene Miles and Highway Commissioner Roger W. Huff are all running for re-election unopposed. Regina Basford, who was appointed to the SAD 53 school board, will seek a three-year term on the board. Basford also is running unopposed.

According to Town Clerk Carolyn Hamel, the bottom line is up $40,000 to a projected $584,971. Residents will vote on putting a new metal roof on the Reynolds Corner Municipal Building, an expense that Hamel said should not be more than $20,000.

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Frankfort

Meeting: Friday, March 26 7 p.m. at the Frankfort Elementary School (112 North Searsport Road)
Elections: Thursday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Frankfort Elementary School

Town officials do not yet have an official budget figure or a finalized warrant for the town meeting, according to Town Clerk Amy Stone, as both documents remain works in progress.

For municipal elections, there will be a number of people running uncontested. Incumbent selectwoman Evelyn Adams will be seeking another three-year term, while Thor Gower will be seeking another five-year term on the town’s Planning Board.

Earl Anderson Jr. will be running for another one-year term as road commissioner, while his father is running for another one-year term as the town’s emergency management director. Neither Anderson faces any opposition on the ballot.

There will also be a seat on the Regional School Unit 20 board of directors, though no one took out nomination papers for that post. As such, a write-in candidate may be elected to fill out the remaining two years of the term. Ken Lindell currently occupies this seat.

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Freedom

Meeting: Saturday, March 13, 10 a.m. at the Dirigo Grange (32 Belfast Road/Route 137)
Elections: Friday, March 12, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Selectman Ronald Price is running for his second three-year term. Price has no competition on the ballot, but Frances Walker recently announced her intent to challenge Price as a write-in candidate. Town Clerk, Tax Collector and Excise Tax Collector Cynthia Abbot is running for re-election, unopposed, as is Treasurer Ernestine Keller.

Last year’s town meeting in Freedom was a marathon six-hour session, owing in part to a debate over whether the town should have a dedicated road commissioner or assign oversight of the town’s roads to the selectmen. According to Selectwoman Carol Richardson, the topic will likely be on the warrant again. Richardson said the $17,000 position could be eliminated by adding something on the order of $3,000 to the total compensation for the three selectmen.

Residents will also be considering whether to do away with $1.25-per-bag dump stickers. Richardson said not using the stickers would require the town to make up the $12,000 to $14,000 in lost revenues.

On the overall bottom line, Richardson said the selectmen submitted a budget $40,000 lower than last year’s, but the budget committee has yet to finish its deliberations. Residents might also opt to offset taxes with money from the town’s general fund, she said, as they did last year, to the tune of $75,000. Richardson said the warrant will also include a $240,000 request for a new pumper tank for the fire department.

The Freedom Grange will put on a mid-meeting lunch.

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Islesboro

Meeting: Saturday, May 1 at 9 a.m. (location to be announced)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting.

Budget and warrant items are not yet available.

Two three-year terms on the board of selectmen are up for election. Those are currently held by Susan Schnur and Nakomis Nelson.

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Jackson

Meeting: Saturday, March 20, 9:30 a.m. at the Jackson Community Center (Village Road)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting.

Town Clerk Brenda Dennison said the much-discussed and much-debated issue of wind turbines may or may not be one of the items on the warrant at this year’s meeting.

Voters approved an ordinance regulating wind turbines in their community at a special town meeting Feb. 6, but at the suggestion of the town attorney, the Planning Board has been working on a number of amendments to the ordinance to address issues identified by the attorney.

Dennison said because of the number of proposed amendments, there is discussion about whether it makes more sense to deal with them at the town meeting or if it would be better to hold another special town meeting to address the issue.

Voters will elect a selectman for a three-year term (the seat currently held by John Work) and will also choose a member for a three-year term on the SAD 3 board (the seat currently held by Lisa Cooley). Voters will also elect a fire chief, road commissioner, sexton and animal control officer, all for one-year terms.

Dennison said the town’s budget remains a “work in progress,” and that town officials were scheduled to begin budget work in the last week of February. The town’s contribution to the SAD 3 budget will be the biggest overall expense, and on the municipal side of things road-related expenditures will likely be the biggest expense.

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Knox

Meeting: Saturday, March 20, at 10 a.m. at the Town Office (10 Abbott Road)
Elections: Friday, March 19, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Town Office.

First Selectman Galen Larrabee, who has served since 1997 with one year off, is running unopposed for re-election.

Larrabee said the selectmen are trying to get the budget down $17,000 from last year by cutting expenses that are no longer needed, like plow truck maintenance, which is no longer necessary because the town now contracts out snow removal.

Larrabee anticipated the hardest issue on the warrant would be the
town’s contribution to social service organizations, including WaldoCAP, Senior Spectrum, Head Start and New Hope for Women.

“Some people think we ought to cut from there. Others don’t,” he said, though he claimed not to understand why those particular lines, totaling around $10,000, have been particularly contentious in past years.

Residents will also be asked to vote on selling a temporary building given to the town by SAD 3.

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Liberty

Meeting: Saturday, March 27, 9 a.m., at the Town Office (7 Water St.)
Elections
: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting

Town Clerk and Tax Collector Bud Steeves said he expects this year’s annual town meeting to be “pretty humdrum,” with little controversy. He said the town elects officers from the floor during the annual meeting.

Incumbent First Selectman Judith Fuller’s seat is open, and Third Selectman Kyle Wright is one of those running for the job. If Wright is chosen, an election to fill his current post will also be held, said Steeves. With nominations coming from the floor, there are no nomination papers to file.

Regarding the budget, he said, “Selectmen are aiming to stay within LD 1 limits,” and selectmen do make recommendations on expenditures to the town, which he said were not available yet. However, the final budget is determined in the meeting itself by those in attendance. Last year’s total budget, including county assessment and SAD 3 appropriation, was $1,666,221, before state offsets, he said.

The moderator allows a break during the meeting for lunch, put on by the fire department, Steeves said.

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Lincolnville

Meeting: Saturday, June 12 at 10 a.m. at Lincolnville Central School (523 Hope Road)
Elections: Tuesday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lincolnville Central School

Information on the town’s budget, the town meeting warrant and municipal elections was not yet available.

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Monroe

Meeting: The meeting will take place sometime in June, though no date has yet been set, at the Town Hall (8 Swan Lake Ave.)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting

Budget and warrant article information are not yet available.

Selectman Jackie Robbins’ seat is up for election, with a three-year term. Residents will also elect a fire chief and town clerk, which is done annually.

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Montville

Meeting: Saturday, March 27, 10 a.m., at the Montville Town House, (corner of Center and North Ridge roads)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting

Treasurer Hannah Hatfield said town elections will include all the officers and members of several committees. Of those, the following incumbents are running to retain their posts: Clerk Abbie Hills, Treasurer and Tax Collector Hatfield, First Selectman Jay LeGore, Second Selectman Glen Widmer and Third Selectman Herman Peaslee. In addition, she said, there are vacancies on the Planning Board and the budget committee.

Peaslee said rather than raise taxes to compensate for the loss of state funds, the budget committee will propose a smaller budget of $398,357, down from last year’s budget figure of $403,000. “We don’t want to have to raise taxes if we can possibly help it,” Peaslee said. Neither budget figure includes Montville’s share of the SAD 3 school budget or its county assessment.

Regarding other items on the warrant, Peaslee said the town will take up a wind turbine ordinance.

A potluck lunch will be put on by the fire department.

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Morrill

Meeting: Saturday, March 20, 10 a.m., at the Community Center (4 North Main St.)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting

Town Clerk Lynn Doolan plans to stand for re-election, and she said the third selectman’s post, currently held by Ralph Wood, would be open. In addition, townspeople will elect a treasurer and tax collector, an excise tax collector, three road commissioners, a fire chief, an animal control officer and two members of the Planning Board and an alternate, all for one-year terms, and three members of the board of appeals for three-year terms.

First Selectman John Peeler said although the budget may rise a little from the $314,908 approved last year, he didn’t expect to have to raise taxes this year. Besides that, he said, there’s “nothing big going on in town.”

A lunch will be put on by the women of the community center.

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Northport

Meeting: Monday, June 7 at 7 p.m. at the Blue Goose (1184 Atlantic Highway/Route 1)
Elections: Saturday, June 5, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office (16 Beech Hill Road)

Budget and warrant items are not yet available.

Nomination papers will be available Wednesday, March 10. The only position up for election this year is a three-year term on the board of selectmen, currently held by Paul Rooney. Papers are due back Friday, April 16.

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Palermo

Meeting: Saturday, March 13 at 9 a.m. at the Palermo Consolidated School (501 Route 3)
Elections: Friday, March 12 from 1-8 p.m. at the Town Office (45 North Palermo Road)

The town’s budget is proposed to remain about the same at $630,000 and if there are no major changes to the warrant at town meeting, the budget may be decreased, according to Selectman Sophie Glidden.

Part of the municipal wages budget is proposed to decrease $16,100, due mainly to the fact that the town is seeking to eliminate a clerk position. Glidden said several years ago the townspeople voted to create the position, but it was not filled and has never been used.

Town contributions to social service agencies and groups are up from $9,300 to $12,697.

Residents also will be asked to give $6,000 toward the Palermo Consolidated School’s eighth-grade trip for spring 2011. For the past several years, the town has supported the trip, but this is the first time, due to the creation of the Regional School Unit, that it is being asked for as a separate warrant article, Glidden said.

The Branch Mills Grange will offer a buffet-style meal around noon.

No contested races will face voters at the polls. Residents will be asked to fill a three-year term on the board of selectmen. Selectman Paul Cowing is running for re-election. Simeon Blake Brown is running for re-election to a three-year assessor’s post, Kathy Tesseo is running for a three-year term as tax collector, Virginia Fleming is seeking a three-year term as the general assistance administrator and Scott Childs is running for a one-year term as road commissioner.

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Prospect

Meeting: Saturday, April 3, 9 a.m. at the Prospect Fire Station (958 Bangor Road)
Elections: Friday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office

Voters here can expect a pretty standard town meeting, according to Town Clerk Lisa Donna, as there are no hot-button issues or big-ticket items on the warrant and the proposed budget numbers will look familiar to those who came to the 2009 meeting.

“The budget [presented to voters] will be pretty close to the same as last year,” said Donna.

Selectwoman Diane Terry is running unopposed for re-election to another three-year term, and Road Commissioner Elwin Boynton is running unopposed for another one-year term at his post.

Fire Chief Tim Terry is running for another one-year term, and Charles Scherer is also seeking the seat.

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Searsmont

Meeting: Saturday, April 3, 9 a.m., at the Community Building (37 Main St. South)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting

First Selectman Bruce Brierly said this year’s proposed budget will be $1,222,122, including the county assessment but not the amount for schools, which is not known yet.

He added that, while the total may go up slightly from last year’s $1,438,706 (including the town’s share of the RSU 20 budget and its county assessment), the bigger issue is that the town’s tax rate will likely have to increase to make up for cuts in revenue-sharing by the state. He noted that allowances for land given over to tree growth and for the Homestead Exemption have both been reduced by the state, saying Searsmont “runs a pretty tight ship,” with little that can be cut in order to make ends meet.

The third selectman’s seat is open, and Chris Staples is running for the post, which is being vacated by incumbent Stacey Benjamin. Brierly added that there may also be other candidates for the job.

Though there is no formal meal in conjunction with the meeting, Brierly said Dunkin Donuts provides doughnuts and coffee to be sold at the event, with proceeds going toward the town’s Memorial Day parade.

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Searsport

Meeting: Saturday, March 6 at 9 a.m. at Searsport District Middle School/High School on Mortland Road (either in the cafetorium or the gymnasium)
Elections: Tuesday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Public Safety Building (3 Union St.)

Town Manager James Gillway said the town’s proposed operating budget is down $9,000 from last year.

“We worked pretty tirelessly to hold the line or cut it,” said Gillway, regarding the approach of town officials while building the budget. He said the reduction was achieved through a number of smaller-sized cuts, and that there was, “no one single area that experienced a large decrease.”

The town was able to add an employee in the police department, but that was achieved through the use of grant funds rather than property taxes.

Like many other communities, Gillway said Searsport is having to deal with a loss of revenue from the state in programs such as revenue-sharing and the homestead exemption for homeowners. Gillway said Searsport has lost about $100,000 in revenue from the state, meaning that despite the smaller municipal budget the town will “probably experience a small mill rate increase.”

The exact size of that increase will depend on what voters decide to do at town meeting. Voters have traditionally opted to take some of the town’s unappropriated funds — also referred to as surplus — and use them to lower the tax rate.

There is less surplus to go around this year, though — about $823,000, instead of the nearly $895,400 of last year — which Gillway said is largely due to the decrease in revenue from the state. He said voters will likely be able to keep the mill rate increase somewhere between .25 mills and .55 mills, depending on how much surplus they decide to set aside.

Gillway said town officials are already looking ahead to the 2011 budget and planning a series of workshops throughout 2010. Those workshops will look at topics such as whether the town can operate with fewer employees. As an example, Gillway said there is a full-time position that is currently open, and that town officials have suspended the search/hiring process.

“We’ll evaluate it and see if we can do without that position,” said Gillway.

In other matters, voters will consider three ordinance-related matters at town meeting — one relating to cell phone towers, one regarding smoke detectors in homes and another regarding the town’s process for lien-acquired property.

The warrant will ask if voters want to eliminate a portion of the fire code ordinance requiring a home that is for sale to be inspected to ensure that it has a smoke detector in it. Gillway said the change is being proposed because that is now state law, and the town’s requirement is no longer needed.

For the ordinance dealing with lien-acquired property, the proposal is to change the language to give town officials more flexibility on when they can dispose of such property. Gillway said property owners seeking to reclaim their property would still have the same rights they have now.

For municipal elections, a three-year term on the board of selectmen (the seat currently held by Roland LaReau) will be on the ballot. LaReau is running for re-election, without opposition. No one took out nomination papers for a three-year term on the RSU 20 board, so a write-in candidate may be elected. Also, nine members will be selected for the town’s budget advisory committee.

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Stockton Springs

Meeting: A Saturday in June, likely the 19th, though that date has not been finalized. The meeting will be held at the Stockton Springs Elementary School (113 Church St.).
Elections
: Tuesday, June 8, at the Town Office (217 Main St.)

Work on the town’s budget has been under way for several weeks, according to Town Manager Joe Hayes. Although the spending plan remains a work in progress at this point, Hayes said “pretty much everything is staying the same or being cut.” He also said all budget lines are up for discussion.

“We’re looking at our budget and seeing what we can do,” he said. “There may be some tough choices that have to be made.”

Hayes said if all other factors stayed the same, it would present a better financial picture. That, however, is not the case. The town’s contribution to the county budget is up, and revenue coming back from the state is down. Additionally, the town’s share of the school budget remains an unknown at this point.

Hayes said the town will likely hold a special town meeting sometime this spring, before the annual town meeting, to address some ordinance issues, including an ordinance relating to wind power.

For municipal elections, a three-year term on the board of selectmen (the seat currently held by Pete Curley) will be on the ballot, as will a one-year term for the fire chief’s post (currently held by Harry “Junior” Patterson).

Hayes said the town’s recreation department, as it has in years past, will likely put on a lunch at the town meeting in June.

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Swanville
Meeting: Tuesday, March 9 7 p.m. at the Town Office (6 Town House Road)
Elections: Monday, March 8, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office

When they head to the polls March 8, Swanville voters will decide whether or not they want to have a town administrator.

Selectman Brian Thompson said selectmen placed the issue on the ballot after doing some research, as well as hearing from some people in town who were interested in seeing the town hire an administrator.

The issue has come up in the past, and Thompson said it was placed on the ballot rather than on the warrant for the town meeting because of requirements in the town’s charter.

If townspeople give their approval, selectmen would then have the authority to pursue hiring a town administrator, who would be brought on board in 2011.

Thompson said the town’s budget is up this year, though he did not have a specific figure for how much the increase is. He said a large factor in the increase is a decrease in revenue from the state, in programs such as the Homestead Exemption and revenue-sharing.

As far as specific town budget lines, Thompson said some are up and some are down. The town’s share of the school budget, which Thompson said is “always a sore point,” remains an unknown at this time.

In municipal elections, there will be races for a seat on the board of selectmen and also for a Planning Board seat. Ricky Collins will challenge incumbent Robert Bernosky for a three-year term as selectman, while John Blanchard will take on incumbent Robert Hatch for a five-year term on the Planning Board.

In uncontested races, Laurie Johnson is seeking another one-year term as real estate tax collector while Helen Christianson is seeking additional one-year terms as town clerk, treasurer and excise tax collector.

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Thorndike

Meeting: Saturday, March 20, at 9:30 a.m. at the Central Maine Auction Hall (52 Mill Road)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting

Selectmen, assessors and overseers of the poor James Bennett, Steve Fitton and Gerald Berry each seek re-election. The selectmen’s term of office is one year. Residents will be asked to vote to appoint two members to the cemetery committee.

At press time, the Planning Board was working out the final details of a proposed wind energy ordinance. Jesse Hargrove, Planning Board member and chairman of a citizens committee formed to advise the Planning Board, said he hoped the board would have the ordinance completed in time for the town meeting. If the work wasn’t complete, he said, the planning board would request an extension to the moratorium, first enacted a year ago, at the town meeting.

According to Selectman James Bennett, this year’s bottom line will be roughly the same as last year’s. “We’ve cut everything we can cut,” he said.

The Thorndike Volunteer Fire Department will serve a potluck lunch.

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Troy

Meeting: Saturday, March 27 10 a.m. at the Grange Hall (Bangor Road)
Elections: Friday, March 26 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office (129 Rogers Road)

Tom Byron and Ted Barnes will compete for a single selectman’s seat, vacated by Kathy Mattingly, who is not seeking re-election. Brett Irving will seek re-election as forest trustee.

Troy’s lone SAD 3 board member, Karen Carlson, is not seeking re-election, and according to Town Clerk Sharon Moody, no one has expressed interest in filling the vacancy. Moody said if no one runs, the board would have to appoint someone. “We’ll have to go door to door to search for someone willing,” she said. Moody said she was joking about going door to door.

The proposed overall budget of $517,070 is down from the $525,426 approved last year. “We tried to save what we could, knowing what’s coming up,” she said. “We kept everything as close to last year’s as we could.”

In past years the Grange has served a meal.

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Unity

Meeting: Saturday, March 27 at 10 a.m. at the Elementary School (School Street)
Elections: Friday, March 26, from noon to 8 p.m. at the Town Office (4 Clifford Common)

Jim Kenney, who has already served one term on the board of selectmen, is seeking another three-year term and is running unopposed.

Though it will not be an item on this year’s warrant, Unity plans to disband its board of assessors and hire an assessor’s agent when a revaluation of the town is completed this fall. According to Town Clerk Sue Lombard, Assessor Max Gillette will finish the position if elected, but chose not to be on ballot.

Future MSAD 3 will serve lunch.

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Waldo

Meeting: Saturday, March 27 9:30 a.m., at the Town Office (629 Waldo Station Road)
Elections: Nominations and elections take place at town meeting

First Selectman Kathy Littlefield said she expects the town’s budget, which was $644,853 last year, including appropriations for schools and county services, will not increase much, but taxes must rise in order to make up for cuts in state funding. Referring to the Legislature, she said, “They’re going to drastically cut revenue-sharing, yet again — we took a really big hit last year on that.”

One thing that could cause the town’s budget to rise, she said, is if the SAD 3 budget goes up, something selectmen can neither control nor even know before the town meeting.

In elections incumbent Shirley Caler will run again for the post of third selectman; Littlefield did not know who else might be planning to run. She said there are also two vacancies on the Planning Board, as well as a number of positions elected annually.

A breakfast meeting with coffee, doughnuts and pastry will take place before the town meeting starting at 8:30 a.m. Littlefield said the gathering is a time for townspeople to discuss items not on the warrant.

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Winterport

Meeting: Thursday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m. (location to be announced)
Elections: Tuesday, June 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Samuel Wagner Middle School (54 Mountainview Drive)

Budget and warrant items are not yet available.

Residents will be asked to elect two candidates to three-year terms on the Town Council, currently held by Sam Butler and Joseph Brooks. A three-year term on the board of assessors is also available, now held by Robert Reynolds, and two three-year terms on the SAD 22 board. Those seats are now filled by Lance Al-Hajj and Martha Harris, respectively.