Bridgton selectmen say vote ‘no’ on all citizen petitions

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Selectmen voted Tuesday to recommend that Bridgton voters reject all three of the referendums submitted by citizen petition for inclusion on the June 9 election ballot.

The board’s “no” vote recommendation will be added to the ballot on these questions, whose wording has been summarized for simplicity:

  • Should the Lakes Region Bus from Bridgton to Portland be funded by raising Bridgton’s mil rate by 1 cent?
  • Should there be no spending on Town Hall repairs, other than from insurance claims, until the cost of both interior and exterior repairs are known and approved by voters?
  • Should the town exempt sewer allocations bought before July 1, 2014 from any and all amendments to the Sewer Ordinance, and allow exempted users to pay only for the allocation they use?

Selectmen had initially approved the questions without adding the board’s recommendation, but later learned that secret ballot articles that request an appropriation of money must be accompanied by a recommendation of the municipal officers. Because the three questions don’t include a specific dollar figure, however, the board learned that the recommendation is optional after seeking legal advice.

Selectman Paul Hoyt had sought a “yes” vote on funding the bus service, but his motion failed for lack of a second. Hoyt voted against the “no” vote recommendation on the bus service, but Selectmen Bernie King and Doug Hoyt were in favor. Selectmen Bob McHatton and Ken Murphy were absent. McHatton submitted his votes in writing, however, and he sided with Hoyt in recommending “yes” on the bus route question, while recommending a “no” vote on both the Town Hall and sewer allocation questions.

The board also decided to hold a public hearing on the referendum questions, which also include several ordinance revision requests from the Planning Board. The hearing will be held at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, at the Municipal Building located at 3 Chase Street, in Bridgton.

Selectmen also agreed to include a separate warrant article at the June 10 Town Meeting that would add $9,000 to the Bridgton Library from the North Bridgton Library, which has closed.


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