Lisbon absentee ballots to be available May 26

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LISBON — Although the town council has signed the warrant for the school budget validation referendum election that will be held on June 8 in conjunction with the state primary election, absentee ballots for the local referendum will not be available until after May 25, Town Clerk Twila Lycette said.

The two-question referendum ballot asks if voters favor the school budget “as adopted by the town council on May 25.”

Consequently there will be no final budget figures available to voters until that date, Lycette explained. The current schedule calls for public hearings on the budget on April 27 and May 11 when Superintendent Richard Green will present the proposed budget. Both hearings will be held at the Lisbon Community School on Mill Street at 7 p.m.

The second question on the referendum ballot seeks an opinion, asking residents who voted “no” why they did so, “too high or too low?”

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Lycette said absentee ballots for the state’s primary election are now available. For more information, contact her at 353-3000 ext. 112.

Councilors, at their last meeting were asked to consider placing the municipal budget on a referendum ballot, however, after discussion, councilors voted against the proposal 5-2.

Under the provisions of the town charter, the final budget is adopted by the town council after prescribed public hearings. The town charter that was adopted several years ago moved the town from a selectman-town meeting form of government to a town council. The charter spells out how the town budget is to be adopted.

Since the town meeting was eliminated, there remain some residents who would like to go back to the more “hands on” budget process of town meeting. However, as the town grew over the years, town meetings got longer and longer spanning as many as seven nights with attendance dwindling to a handful by the time it was concluded. This convinced many voters it was time to eliminate town meeting.

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