Rumford meetings set to discuss funding issues

RUMFORD — Residents will have a chance to discuss the merits of funding Black Mountain ski resort and the town's General Assistance budget during a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, in the Muskie Auditorium at Mountain Valley High School.

Voting on those issues takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the American Legion on upper Congress Street.

At that time, residents will be asked if they want to raise and appropriate $35,000 for the welfare budget for 2010-11 and $51,000 for the initiated article request for Black Mountain, according to the warrant.

At Monday night's meeting, the only voting by a show of hands will be to accept changing the tax collection due date from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15 and to collect property taxes based on the new due date.

The previous date was approved at the June town meeting, but due to the delay in finalizing the 2010-11 budget, a later date was proposed.

At 6:30 p.m., prior to Monday night's meeting, selectmen will conduct a special board meeting at Muskie Auditorium to:

* Schedule a special town business meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, on the proposed wind power ordinance and proposed charter change on balloting for initiated articles when selectmen and the Finance Committee differ on recommendations. That Oct. 12 meeting would be held in Muskie Auditorium. The ordinance and charter change balloting will happen on Nov. 2.

* Approve the warrant for the special town business meeting for the wind-power ordinance and proposed charter change.

* Schedule a public hearing or hearings on the proposed wind-power ordinance.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, selectmen will convene a hearing on the proposed charter change in Rumford Falls Auditorium.

“We're trying to solve some of these issues,” Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Friday of the profusion of municipal meetings this month and next. “Wind power has become this enormous issue.”

Because selectmen are dealing with so many issues at the same time, Puiia said it has been confusing to ensure that meetings and hearings are held within the required time periods, especially since the charter change is driven by state statute and the wind ordinance driven by the town.

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 's picture

you can't handle the truth!

Respect your opinion CommonSense, but we should all be concerned when the governor and the wind developer boldly state that 95% of Mainers support wind power. That speculative percentage has swayed deeply to the other side of this statement in Rumford in just the past year. It was 88% initially and now it 67%, as you stated, in favor of wind. This could be directly attributed to the people becoming more educated on the issue.
Also, why should we be giving Black Mtn any money when they have a lease agreement in place with a commercial wind developer for sitings on their property? I personally feel that the owners are trying to hang their conscience on the town because GE recommends no "recreational/human activity within 1600 feet" of one of their wind towers due to ice shard throws....which means Black Mtn is history if you put up wind towers near the slopes....which they are intending to do.
The problem is the towns people speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; and the money hungry Harvard Business school graduates were not trained to handle the truth. When they come to Rumford, FW needs to stop sending their "B" team. For an educated group of towns people that they have become, it is like shooting fish in a barrel.

 's picture

We all have to remember that

We all have to remember that most of the same folks mismanaging Black Mountain, ignoring our no funding vote for Black Mountain in June are the same ones who make up the special interest group that also ignored the 751 to 364 vote of the people in favor of wind power and forced a moratorium. These are also the same people who the selectmen then appointed to the wind power ADVISORY committee and didn't go by their own mission statement "Mission Statement:The mission of the Rumford Wind Power Advisory Committee is to educate the community as to the true advantages and disadvantages of industrial wind farms in our community. . . the residents of the Town of Rumford," and we all know that absolutely no education took place. Instead of doing their job they drafted an ordinance that is the equivalent of a permanent moratorium on something 67% of us said in June we want. When the Town Manager, Brad Adley and Mark Belanger balked at violating the will of the people, the charter and by-laws and forcing us to vote in November on an inappropriate ordinance, these same people threatened them with ethics investigations, damage to their businesses, and who knows what else, this time breaking the law. But they got their way and we are voting on this. These people do not deserve to be rewarded for decades of mismanaging Black Mountain with more taxpayer money. If they fail, the owners of Black Mountain, Maine Winter Sports and the Libra Foundation which have also cut them off, will bring in a proper management team. Vote NO, Zero funding for Black Mountain, AGAIN.

Then vote NO on the Wind Power ordinance. Atleast two selectmen have confessed they have been threatened. Are there others making it a majority? One Mark Belanger refused to compromise his integrity and voted against putting this before voters. Brad Adley stated he disagreed with the ordinance and with rushing it to the voters and calling this an emergency, then voted to do so immediately after making those statements and stating he had been threatened with harm if he did not do so. I lost all respect for him, he showed he has no integrity in the office he holds. Mr. Puiia has stated he too was threatened, I respect his need as Town Manager to remain neutral, I do not respect his unwillingness to obey the law and report the threats and prosecute, the same for Adley and Belanger on that score. Our town is currently being run by Bullies not our elected and appointed officials in accordance to our charter, by-laws and the will of the people. Our Selectmen should be concerned about recall elections with those who make threats against them fearing jail time. Our Town Manager should fear sanctions by the Board of Selectmen if he does not do his job and those who threaten him should be fearing jail time. What is happening in our town is just plain wrong and I hope our Town Manager and Selectmen will stand up and do something about it.

As I said at the beginning, the same small group is at the core of both the Black Mountain issue and the Wind Power Advisory Committee/Ordinance. These people clearly don't give a damn about us as taxpayers or voters nor do they give a damn about this Town and the integrity of its elected and appointed officials. It's time to tell them no once and for all on both issues and send them packing.

People Have Spoken

Hooray for special interests! They've done it again. The people have spoken but they don't like the outcome. They found a loop hole in the charter but the ordinance is plain and simple. It says a vote is a vote when Initiated articles are concerned. The only one that realizes this is Mr. Belanger. But being on the short end of a 4 to1 or 3 to 1 vote and the Town Manager continually skirting the issues does not sit well for the majority of taxpayers. Between General Assistance and Tax office realignment and contrary to what the Town Manager says , we are not saving monies. The citizen taxpayers of Rumford should not be swayed from their original vote. Take the time once again when the time comes to say no. If the message is not heard then the wrong people are running your town.


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