WATERFORD – Waterford residents who would like to sit in the town’s third selectman’s seat have until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, to submit their paperwork.

The election of former Selectman Whizzer Wheeler’s replacement will be held Sept. 6, and the two current selectmen have agreed not to take any official action until then.

Since Wheeler’s resignation July 12, Selectmen Norman Rust and David Marston have disagreed on issues such as terminating the employment of transfer station manager Rockie Graham, and reinstating former comprehensive plan committee member Les Gammon. Without a tie-breaker vote, action on these and other issues has been delayed.

Numerous issues before the town have been tabled until the town has a full board of selectmen, most recently, discussion of forming a committee to look into taxation in the town.

Possibly the largest issue of concern to Waterford residents, taxes were brought before the board once again at its Monday. Gammon asked why the town’s assessed value was more than $8 million higher than the value set by the state. Marston replied that it would take more time than the two selectmen are able to spend to look at the issue thoroughly, and might require hiring another administrative assistant, town manager, or assessor.

“The two of you have your plate full,” resident Kelly Wels commented. She asked if selectmen could appoint a committee to look into taxation.

Resident Paul Hersey, who has experience in development and real estate, offered to help selectmen if his knowledge would be useful. David Sanderson also offered to help put the tax cards on the town’s computer.

Rust thanked both men, but said that he would not appoint a committee before the third selectman was elected and sworn in.

“I’m sorry,” he said, “but it’s not fair.”

At this time, only one resident has submitted the 25 signatures needed to be put on the ballot next month. If no other petitions are turned in, David Hart, Graham’s husband, will be the only name on the ballot. Hart and any other candidates will be invited to speak at a public forum Wednesday, Aug. 30. Organized by residents, the forum will be held in the town office at 7 p.m.

Selectmen will not meet again until after the election. The date of their next meeting has not been set.


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