WEST PARIS – In what some said was a record, West Paris residents wrapped up their town meeting in less than three hours on Saturday.

They approved everything on the 71-article warrant, finishing with a municipal budget of $876,937, Town Manager Donald Woodbury said after the meeting.

Voters also agreed to take $371,000 from excise, surplus, urban renewal, and tree growth funds, and agent/administration and plumbing inspection fees, to help keep the tax rate down, Woodbury added.

He couldn’t recall last year’s budget, but said Saturday’s total was down from last year.

It doesn’t include tax assessments from Oxford County and SAD 17, which are done later in the year.

Woodbury said Saturday’s town meeting “went very well.”

“We hadn’t anticipated any major conflicts, and, fortunately, there were no major controversies. I think that’s largely due to the work of the Budget Committee and selectmen, because they were remarkably in agreement,” he said.

Few articles were discussed.

Selectman Bill Birney said he, too, thought it was a good meeting, “but, we could have had a better turnout.”

Normally, he said, about 180 people attend town meeting, but Assistant Clerk Donna DiConzo said 120 people came out initially.

Birney said a lot of them left after Article 2’s voting for selectmen.

Incumbent Wayne Theofrastou, whose term is to expire in March 2008, announced that he could not finish his term after serving a year, due to health reasons.

About 60 people, including junior cadets of West Paris Girl Scout Troop 1495, who sold concessions during a 20-minute lunch break at noon after Article 56, stayed until the meeting ended.

In nominations from the floor, Dennis Henderson and Jeff Shock were named for selectman. Henderson took the remaining two-year seat of Theofrastou, garnering 51 votes to Shock’s 18.

In the other selectman’s race for the three-year seat of the absent James Johnson, whose term ended this month, Wade Rainey, the only candidate nominated, won.

Incumbent Water District Director Philip Edmunds was re-elected to another three-year term.


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