Rumford voters again reject Welfare Budget

RUMFORD — It's back to the drawing board for selectmen.

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Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Michael Dane Curato, left, of Rumford checks in to vote on Tuesday morning on the revote of the town's Welfare Budget in the municipal building's Rumford Falls Auditorium. Ballot clerks from right, are Louise Stickney, Patricia Mercier, Dorothy Benedix and Charlene Dickson.

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Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Rumford resident Ferne Arsenault casts her vote Tuesday morning at the polls for the revote of the Welfare Budget. Watching, at left, are Rumford Selectman Jeff Sterling, seated, who is the supervising ballot warden, and town meeting moderator Kevin Saisi.

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.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

its not about money

its about the people knowing what they want and thier elected officials ingoring them.

 's picture

selectmen still in the dark?

hey the people want a residency clause, morons. make it so that you have to be a resident BEFORE you can collect welfare. the people dont want someone moving in to town just to collect welfare.

 's picture

State Law

3. Durational residency requirement prohibited. No municipality may establish a durational residency requirement for general assistance.

Message ! Mr Adley

People have spoken . Your not listening and neither is the town manager. They know what the state mandate is . They want the position eliminated and program administered differently. Eliminate that cost . No longer do Mexico's welfare. Our town offices needs and overhaul. There needs to be cut backs in manpower and cross training. And it starts now. This is what the people want. Do it! The town selectpersons should look out for the welfare of it's citizens by doing their job they were elected to. Run the welfare costs at the least cost. You selectpersons and town manager know what has to be done. You just don't purposely turn a deaf ear. This is what the people know and see in your performances.

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

Hats off to the voters in

Hats off to the voters in rumford!!!

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