RUMFORD — It's back to the drawing board for selectmen.
Tuesday's revote of the revised 2010-11 Welfare Budget rejected raising $10,021 less than the initially recommended $70,021, which was defeated at last month's town meeting polls.
That means selectmen will have to repeat the process until they find the magic number that voters will approve, because state law requires that Rumford and other Maine towns have welfare budgets.
Tuesday's tally was 190-115 against raising and appropriating $60,000 for general assistance.
“I guess we're going back to work,” a frustrated Brad Adley, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said early Tuesday evening after learning the results.
Last month, a tally of 965-727 rejected raising and appropriating $70,021, which was the selectmen's and Budget Committee's recommendation.
“The citizens are sending us a message, but I just wish they'd show up at the public hearings to tell us what they want,” Adley said. “They've got to tell us what they want, and we'll give it to them. I'm a little frustrated. It wasn't even a close vote.”
He said there isn't a lot of fluff in the 2010-11 municipal budget, so nothing can be pared from what voters have already approved. The general assistance budget is the only money article still being revoted.
“We've got 45 days before we can do it all over again, so we're operating on numbers from last year's budget now,” Adley said. “Hopefully, this will get people to come out to the public hearings and tell us what they want.”
Although Rumford budgeted $70,970 last year for general assistance, it only spent $53,409, because more than $20,000 was reimbursed to the town by the state, Social Security and clients.
Polls were open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday in Rumford Falls Auditorium. By noon, Ballot Clerk Louise Stickney said she was surprised to see more than 100 people turn out to vote.
“It's better than we expected,” she said.