RUMFORD – While most voters at the recent election decided to keep many town operations the same, some significant changes were made to the town’s 57-year-old charter and ordinances.

Interim Town Manager Len Greaney believes keeping the town clerk/treasurer and tax collector elected positions, which were up for appointment if approved by voters, together with an appointed finance director, shows that the town is building a team and going in the right direction.

Voters also decided to keep the Finance Committee and keep a five-member Board of Selectmen.

The proposal was to expand that to seven.

Greaney believes several changes to the two documents approved by residents could be seen as acknowledging the difference between living in the mid-20th century and the early 21st century.

Among them is allowing the town manager to live in a River Valley town as defined by the Chamber of Commerce, rather than requiring residence in Rumford.

The town charter required that a town manager reside in Rumford. The issue of residence was one of the sticking points last year during the tenure of former Town Manager Steve Eldridge, who lived in Monmouth.

River Valley towns include Rumford, Mexico, Dixfield, Peru, Roxbury, Byron, Hanover, Andover, Carthage and Canton.

Greaney said he could see both sides. A town manager living in the town he manages also pays taxes there, he said.

“But people can live within a certain range and do the job. There may be a better selection of candidates within the River Valley towns,” he said.

He also believes passage of an amendment that provides for recalling elected officials is a legitimate management tool.

Before the election, there was no way to remove an official. Greaney said the process is being worked out, but will likely include collecting signatures, fact-gathering, and public hearings.

Other amendments approved include:

• Requiring firefighters and police officers to live within 30 minutes of their stations.

• Setting an 11 p.m. curfew for young people.

Greaney said the dozen or so amendments must be worked into the charter and ordinances.


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