RUMFORD – Selectmen want to work out a deal with neighboring Mexico to share its town manager, so they are considering a special referendum to change the charter to make it happen.

The board, at its May 1 meeting, asked town lawyer Tom Carey to come up with a procedure to allow voters to change the municipal charter so that both towns could share one manager.

However, since the Charter Commission was asked to call a special meeting on May 1 to write the a proposal, Carey told the board that not enough time remains to hold required public hearings before the June 10 vote.

“Hopefully, we won’t be deterred by that. It will benefit our citizens,” Selectman Frank DiConzo said.

Plans for Rumford selectmen to meet with the Mexico selectmen on Monday, May 19, are going ahead. At that meeting, both boards hope to come up with a salary and benefit package for Mexico Town Manager John Madigan to serve both towns if an arrangement can be reached.

The plan is to try sharing management for a year. In that time, Madigan would be charged with working toward merging some of the department in each town.

Rumford Town Manager Jim Doar, who is leaving his post on June 10, said selectmen can call a special referendum election to make a charter change. He will meet with Carey to work out a time frame for calling a referendum.

The chairman of the selectmen would serve as temporary town manager until an interim or permanent manager is hired.

Also at Thursday’s board meeting, selectmen unanimously voted to have the Rumford blog shut down.

Selectman Mark Belanger said profanity and obscenities have been appearing on the blog regularly. There is no way to identify bloggers.

The blog will be shut down Friday, Doar said.

In other matters, SAD 43 Superintendent Jim Hodgkin gave selectmen a summary of the school budget and voting time line.

Rumford’s share of the proposed $15,476,000 budget has increased by $204,800 because of fewer revenues and higher costs.

A public informational meeting on the budget is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., June 3, in Muskie Auditorium of Mountain Valley High School. A vote will be taken at 6:30 p.m., June 5, also at the high school. The validation referendum vote on the proposed budget is scheduled in each of the four district towns during the primary elections on June 10.


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