Strong voters approve warrants

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STRONG — About 80 residents came out on Saturday to approve a 57-article warrant that appropriated $533,135 for town operations.

More than 300 people came to the polls the night before to re-elect incumbents Milton Baston and Rupert Pratt to the Board of Selectmen.

Interim fire Chief Duayne Boyd was elected chief. Boyd has been acting chief since former Chief Scott Dyar moved to Texas a few months ago.

“Democracy is alive and well in the woods of Franklin County, and we’re proud to be a part of it,” moderator Roger Lambert said, as he announced the voting results, then opened the meeting.

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All articles were passed with no debate or discussion, with the exception of two.

An article asking for an amendment from $7,500 to $5,000 for streetlights was tossed around a bit, but the original amount was approved by voters after several citizens spoke out, citing safety issues in a town with no law enforcement of its own.

An article asking for $5,000 to help pay a portion of Robert Boyd’s health insurance for the next year and a half took much longer to debate and ended with a secret ballot vote of 34-30, approving the $5,000.

Boyd worked for the town for 28 years as road foreman as well as various other jobs, but there was a misunderstanding of some sort about the date of his retirement and he was replaced sooner than he expected.

Some were concerned about setting a precedent by approving the article, but just as many spoke in Boyd’s defense.

“Everyone makes mistakes,” resident Dean Stanley said. “With all due respect, I do think this has been handled poorly, but I think we should support Bob and not make him pay the penalty.”

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