Hearing set on Fryeburg board membership
FRYEBURG — A public hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Hall to inform residents about a proposal to increase the Fryeburg Board of Selectmen from three to five members.
575 validated voters in Fryeburg successfully petitioned for an article on the Jan. 10, 2017 Special Town Meeting warrant to see if residents want a five member board of selectmen. If residents vote to increase the board membership, in June two additional selectmen will be seated. Selectmen earn a stipend of $2,500 each and there would be some additional costs such as liability and worker’s compensation.
Holly Foster, who lead the petition drive, researched 30 Maine towns: 10 towns just above Fryeburg’s population of 3,449 and 10 towns just below the population, plus 10 local towns. Her findings included:
- Two towns have seven-member town councilors.
- Three towns have five-member town councilors.
- 22 towns have five-member selectmen boards.
- Three towns have three-member selectmen boards.
- They all have town managers, except three.
- The local towns with higher populations than Fryeburg with five-selectmen boards are Bridgton, Casco, Naples, Norway, Oxford and Paris.
- Bethel and Harrison are two local towns with less population than Fryeburg and they have five-selectmen boards.
“Please become an informed voter and listen to both sides of the issue,” said Foster, encouraging residents to attend the public hearing. “If you are away Jan. 10 or perhaps do not wish to get out if there is a storm, please vote by absentee ballot available from the Town Clerk beginning Dec. 8. Return your ballot by Dec. 31 to be certain it arrives in time to be counted. We worked hard for the right to vote in this special election. Let your voice be heard. Please vote!”