It has been an unprecedentedly challenging year for the people of Rumford. Citizens submitted no less than four petitions to limit spending in the community and have yet to be allowed to vote on the matter.
The citizens rejected the entire budget proposed by selectmen and all but four initiated article requests in June. In July, they rejected eight of 12 budget proposals. In August, they rejected the eight articles again. In October, they continued to express their discontent by again rejecting the largest article in the budget, unclassified accounts, that included $1,119,000 for employee benefits.
It remains to be seen if Rumford citizens will once again vote against the article at an $83,336.02 increase over actual fiscal 2012-2013 spending.
Also on Nov. 5, Rumford voters are being called upon to choose who will represent them on a charter commission. Hopefully, voters will choose representatives who will work to continue the town manager form of government and who will continue public voting on the town budget articles — leaving power with the people and preserving that the imperative will of the people be respected and honored. Elected representatives should seek to produce a clean and clear town charter that protects all citizens from abuse by a few elected and appointed officials.
There are many unprecedented challenges in this community, so people should be sure to vote. It is not only a right, but an obligation of a free people.
Candice Casey, Rumford
Editor's note: The author is a candidate for the Rumford Charter Commission.