An emotional beginning marked the annual town meeting April 21, in the Prospect Fire House, as townspeople honored longtime Planning Board member and Selectman Bill Sneed, who is retiring.

Fellow Selectman Heather Boynton gave a moving speech about Sneed's 31 years of service, eliciting some tears in the audience. Residents rose and gave him a loud ovation.

Filling the vacancy on the Board of Selectmen will be Fire Department Capt. Clayton Emery, who won the spot with 57 votes against 6 write-in votes and 8 blanks. Longtime Road Commissioner Elwin Boynton Sr. was re-elected with 50 votes versus longtime opponent Harland Gamble Sr.'s 21 votes.

In attendance were 29 town residents and eight non-residents, five of whom were political candidates. Two of the candidates, Erin Herbig, running for state Senate, and Karl Ward, running for re-election as state representative, being repeat visitors to the annual meeting, were greeted by Prospect residents with what seemed like a warm welcome.

All political candidates were given a brief interval where each gave a short speech. Also in attendance were representatives from Spectrum Generations and Mid-Coast Maine Community Action.

Linda Gamble, secretary of the Fire Department and a member of the Community Club, urged folks to get high school students involved in community service hours to both groups.

Overall the meeting was small, sweet, and short, lasting only an hour and 53 minutes. No hot topics were on the agenda and Moderator Norris Staples flew through each article with long-practiced efficiency. Total monies raised for the town of Prospect were $350,291, with $164,700 to surplus, and $83,000 from excise tax.