Wiscasset election clerk Joan Grondin, puts a "I voted" sticker on David Brooks after he voted Tuesday morning. (Charlotte Boynton photo)
By Charlotte Boynton
Going to the polls Sept. 10, Wiscasset voters narrowly approved the town planning budget with just one vote making the difference, 353 in favor and 352 opposed.
Voters rejected the assessing/human resource budget with 389 opposed and 307 in favor refused to authorize the selectmen to expend up to 3/12 of the previous year's budget in the event a budget failed.
The rejection of the 3/12 article, and the assessing/human resources budget could present problems for town operations. It could soon be without an assessor.
Contacted after the vote, Wiscasset Town Manager Laurie Smith said the board of selectmen will have to meet and discuss the vote results' impact to the tax commitment and the operation of the town.
"I am disappointed with the results of the assessing budget," said Selectman Ed Polewarczyk. "This puts the town in a bad position with the obligation to provide a severance package, and the upcoming tax commitment."
Sue Varney, Wiscasset Assessor's Agent and Human Resource Director, has been an employee of the town for over 35 years and now may no longer have a job. As a severance package she will be given two-week's pay for each year she has been employed by the town, which has been estimated to be around $68,000.
Voters rejected two capital improvement articles, the purchase of public works truck at an estimated cost of $55,000 and a generator for the town office with an estimated cost of $33,000.
Voters did approve budgets for the code enforcement officer, $40,000; contingency, $30,000; transfer station, $512,124; and capital improvement articles including $121,384 for road and sidewalk repair; $30,000 for a fire department pick-up truck; $28,500 for wastewater pump repairs; and $35,000 for municipal building roof repairs.
Wiscasset voters approved the RSU budget with 393 in favor, and 315 opposed.
There were 717 votes cast in Wiscasset Sept. 10, with 298 of those votes being absentee.