MECHANIC FALLS — A municipal election will be held Tuesday, June 14, to vote on the town’s proposed $2.4 million budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and to choose three council members, one RSU 16 director and one sewer district trustee.

This is the first year that townspeople will approve their budget by referendum ballot.

Voters in November approved a charter change that replaced the traditional town meeting with a public hearing on the proposed budget, followed by a referendum ballot that this year contains 34 separate questions.

The budget that voters face, as endorsed at a public hearing held two weeks ago, will not raise the tax rate mainly because it is supported by an infusion of a little more than $300,000 from the town’s fund balance.

In addition to providing money to run the town for a year, more than $205,000 of the $2.4 million voters are being asked to approve will be going into reserve for future capital expenditures.

Voters will also decide whether to take money from the fund balance to convert the municipal complex’s heating system from an oil-based system to one using wood pellets and to light one of the play fields.

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The $95,000 being sought for the conversion to wood would match a grant of an equal amount.

The project to light a ball field could cost as much as $70,000, but supporters have applied for a grant for about half that amount and, should the grant not materialize, have said they intend to hold fundraisers to repay the town a significant portion of the $70,000 it is upfronting.

Municipal elections

This year voters will be electing three persons to seats on the town council.

Louis Annance is the lone candidate on the ballot for a two-year seat on the council, a vacancy created when Peter Ford Sr., who was elected to the council just a year ago, announced in April that he would resign at the end of June.

There are five candidates for the two three-year council seats that were scheduled to be up for election.

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Dan Blanchard, the council’s current chairman, is seeking re-election to his third term. He is a retired Auburn police officer, has worked as a part-time fire investigator, liquor and tobacco inspector, and as a private investigator. He works part-time as a charter bus driver.

He graduated from Lewiston High School and studied criminal justice in the University of Maine system.

He has served three years on the School Committee in addition 15 years on the council.

He thinks the town is on the right path and wants to keep it on an even keel.

“We’ve worked hard the past few years trying to do the same with less. Everybody’s helped, the council, the Budget Committee, John Hawley, doing the best we can,” Blanchard said.

Shawn Dostie, whose parents were from this area, is a retired contractor who moved to Mechanic Falls six years ago after he sold his business.

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He has been 1st engineer with the Mechanic Falls Fire Department for six years, in charge of maintenance for the town’s fire apparatus. During the past year he has been the driving force in the construction of the department’s new brush truck, Engine 5. He was recently appointed as an alternate member of the Planning Board.

He went to school in Connecticut, graduating from Henry Abbott Tech in Danbury with a journeyman license in machine tool design.

“I wish to help continue to guide the town in the same exemplary fashion as has been demonstrated by our present council and our town manager,” Dostie said.

Cathy Fifield, who grew up in Mechanic Falls, graduated from Edward Little High School and attended Mid-State College.

For the past 12 years she has sold real estate with Keller-Williams.

She and her husband, David, have two grown children and five grandchildren, all living in Mechanic Falls.

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She served on the Mechanic Falls Development Commission for a number of years and, when her children were young, was on the Rec Committee and ran its skiing program at Lost Valley.

“Mechanic Falls has been my home for my entire life. It is a way of life. I am hopeful that I will have the opportunity to serve the community through some challenging economic times,” Fifield said.

John Petrocelli Sr. grew up in Rhode Island and attended Post Jr. College in Waterbury, Conn.

In 1971 he moved to Mechanic Falls, hometown of his wife, the former Genie Davis, and worked at Handy Hardware a number of years before opening the Ace Hardware store, now run by John Jr. on Minot Ave. In his semi-retirement, he engages in real estate remodeling.

He served on the Planning Board for 10 years and coached youth baseball a number of years ago.

“It is important to me being a member of the Town Council, which will determine the growth, development and direction of both residential and business climates for the future of Mechanic Falls,” Petrocelli said.

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Richard Wing, who in years past worked in construction, including for Callahan Bros., is seeking to return to the council after a four-year hiatus.

He attended schools in Welchville, Oxford and Paris and obtained his GED after the Korean War.

He has been a council member for 21 years total. He began his career as a volunteer fireman in 1952 and is still a spare driver.

He enjoys the town and the people. He is running for the taxpayers, working to keep taxes down, and for the town employees.

“I work for the taxpayer, not anybody else. I like listening to people’s complaints and letting the council know what’s bothering people, what their concerns are,” Wing said.

Running unopposed for another three-year term on the RSU 16 school board is Jacques “Jack” Wiseman. Roger Guptill is also running unopposed for a seat on the Sanitary District Board of Trustees.

Polls will be open in the gymnasium at the Municipal Building from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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