Two selectmen contenders seek changes in fiscal year, roads and taxes

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ANDOVER — Jane Rich is seeking re-election to the Board of Selectmen. She is being opposed by Brian Mills, a selectman in the 1990s, in Andover’s March 20 election.

Rich says she is seeking re-election so she can see the town’s property revaluation completed in September.

“I want to follow (the revaluation) through to see that it happens, and so taxes are equitable for everybody in the town,” Rich said.

She said she benefits from having worked previously with John E. O’Donnell & Associates of New Gloucester, which provides tax-assessing services.

“We’re also in the process of changing our fiscal year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31,” Rich said, “so that we will then coincide with the (fiscal year of the) school department from July 1 to June 30.”

The school’s fiscal year budget, which has a different time frame than the municipal budget, has “always had problems because then you would only have half your budget when you went to (March) town meetings,” Rich said.

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By setting the town’s fiscal year to coincide with the school’s fiscal year, residents would receive two tax payments — one due in October, the other in April.

“And we think that will help people, too, because they’ll only have to get half of it together at one time,” Rich said. “It will be better for a lot of people.”

Rich also says she is seeking re-election because she loves Andover and wants to see the town “move forward with better plans and replacements for our roads and our town’s equipment.”

Aside from her latest, three-year term as a selectman, Rich was also an Andover selectman for nine years in the 1980s. She was also register of deeds for Oxford County for about 20 years.

Brian Mills. who is opposing Rich, also says changes are needed in Andover.

“I’ve been a selectman twice before and I’m not happy with the direction the town has been going in for the last several years,” Mills said. “Taxes are extremely high. We need to do a better job of preparing the town for the future and taking control of our taxes and services.

“We need to do a better job controlling our taxes, budgeting and that type of stuff.”

The town needs to consolidate services and “get rid of some property that the town owns,” by consolidating buildings to work from one facility “instead of all over town.”

Mills, a two-term selectman in Andover in the 1990s. thinks the town “has done very little” as to road improvements or infrastructure improvements and he wants to work toward those improvements for Andover.

“I’d be interested in doing those types of things again as long as we can do it within our budget,” he said.

Aside from his past experience as a selectman in the 1990s, Mills has served on the town’s recreation board and the water district board.

He is an automotive instructor at Region 9, School of Applied Technology in Mexico and he runs his own business.

mhutchinson@sunmediagroup.net

The banner on display inside at Town Hall in Andover. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

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