WINTERPORT — About two dozen people gathered at the Leroy H. Smith School June 16 to approve the Town Warrant at the Winterport annual meeting. There was little comment on many of the articles except for one discussion about raising more money than town officials proposed for the transfer station and social services.

Budget Committee Member Mary Anne Royal proposed to raise $332,925 for solid waste, which was $30,000 above what the Town Council and majority of the Budget Committee recommended on the Town Warrant.

Currently, there is only one person working full time at the Transfer Station and the extra $30,000 would allow the town to hire a second full-time employee to better monitor dumpsters that hold different types of waste, she said. Some people will put the wrong material in the wrong dumpsters. She argued that it would save the town money in the long run.

There was a brief debate between Royal and another resident about whether the town would save money by recycling waste rather than putting it all in the town’s compactor. Royal’s motion failed and a motion for the originally proposed $302,925 passed.

The Winterport Senior Citizens Club president tried to request $1,800 more for his organization than town officials recommended under the article for social services, the Union Meeting House and the Winterport Free Library.

The funds the club requested would have paid for insurance it needs to use public facilities and churches for gatherings, the club president said. The group did not formally request funds from the town before the meeting because it learned only a couple of weeks ago that the church it at which it planned to gather requires the insurance.

Moderator John Logan said funds could not be raised under the Warrant article specifically for one group because the article was only broken down into the three categories. The $1,800 could be raised under the social services category but that does not mean the funds will go to the group for seniors.

Another resident offered an amendment to the motion to raise double the amount recommended by town officials for social services, bringing that amount up to $14,200 from $7,100. That amount would have doubled every donation to organizations and groups requesting money through that account.

One resident spoke against the increased amount for social services because Waldo Community Action Partners, one of the organizations receiving money through the account, also gets funding through the government and he thought they paid some of their employees too much hourly.

A resident who works for WCAP said money the organization requests from towns goes toward matching funds needed to secure grants. Towns’ support for the organization is important to secure additional funding. The amount the organization requests from towns is a fraction of the funds used to support some of the residents in that town.

Logan determined that the amendment, voted on by show of hands, had failed but at least six people challenged that determination. Residents then voted by secret ballot on whether to overturn his determination. Some residents were confused about what they were voting for. Logan said a yes vote meant the challenge was sustained and a no vote meant the challenge failed.

At another point when he was trying to “make it easy” for people to understand how to vote, he said that if people agreed with his ruling they should vote yes and if people disagreed with his ruling then they vote no.

After further confusion resulted, Town Clerk Maureen Black tried to clarify the issue. “So if you agree that it fails you vote yes,” she said. “If you disagree, vote no.”

Ultimately, 18 people voted yes and 14 people voted no, which Logan said meant the motion to challenge his ruling failed. “Yes means you upheld my determination that the motion failed,” he said.

Voters then approved the original motion on the warrant item, including the original $7,100 to social services recommended by town officials.

Townspeople raised $2,710,661 through taxation at the meeting this year, an 11.8% increase over the $2,425,241 raised last year. Voters approved $1,968,010 from existing fund balances, revenues and other town sources to reduce the amount needed for the budget through taxation, an 8.2% increase compared to the $1,818,591 used from those sources last year.

Stephen Cooper and Margaret English-Flannagan were reelected to three-year Town Council terms. Mark Berlin was reelected to a three-year term as an assessor. John Holmes was reelected to a three-year Regional School Unit 22 School Board position. Brooke Miller was elected to a two-year term on the RSU 22 School Board.

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