RUMFORD — Selectmen and the Finance Committee will have to create new municipal budget recommendations after “Neither of the above” votes played the spoiler eight times at Tuesday’s polls.

However, that doesn’t tell town officials whether the minority wanted higher or lower numbers than the recommended amounts.

Only four of 12 budget articles were approved: Health and Sanitation, Rumford Public Library, Public Service and Debt Service.

“We’ll just have to have another election,” Town Manager Carlo Puiia said after moderator Bob Stickney read the unofficial results. “We have a flaw in the system where minority can rule.”

Town Clerk Beth Bellegarde said the results Stickney read after the ballots were tabulated are always considered unofficial until she recounts them on Wednesday.

Because Rumford splits its recommendations between selectmen and the Finance Committee, a minority vote for neither recommendation can decide the matter if it tops both numbers. That’s what happened with eight articles.

For the General Government budget, selectmen recommending $791,421, received 285 votes, while the Finance Committee’s recommendation of $799,080 received 336 votes. However, even though more people voted to fund the budget, because they were split, 449 people voting “Neither of the above” won.

The Public Safety budget was defeated by 436 people choosing neither recommendation. The selectmen’s recommendation of $641,615 received 286 votes; the committee’s recommendation of $663,752 received 349 votes.

The Police Department budget was defeated by 442 people choosing neither recommendation. Selectmen recommended $716,274, which got 261 votes; the committee recommended $761,274, which tallied 367 votes.

The Fire Department budget was defeated by 425 people choosing neither recommendation. The selectmen recommendation of $625,528 received 284 votes and the committee recommendation of $687,877 received 358 votes.

For Health and Sanitation, 412 people voted for the Finance Committee’s recommendation of $662,931, approving the budget. The selectmen’s recommendation of $533,931 got 316 votes and “Neither of the above” got 345 votes.

The Public Works budget was defeated by 410 people choosing neither recommendation. The selectmen recommendation of $874,160 received 303 votes and the committee’s recommendation of $969,910 received 358 votes.

The General Assistance budget was defeated by 460 people choosing neither recommendation. The selectmen recommendation of $78,853 received 344 votes and the committee’s recommendation of $82,000 received 261 votes.

The library budget was approved by 376 people choosing the Finance Committee’s recommendation of $225,000. The selectmen’s recomendation of $191,250 got 341 votes and those choosing neither recommendation tallied 343 votes.

Selectmen and the Finance Committee recommended the same amounts for public service and debt service. The Public Service budget of $219,960 was approved 610 to 456, and Debt Service budget of  $148,685 was approved 640-405.

The Capital Accounts budget was defeated by 441 people choosing neither recommendation. The selectmen recommendation of $423,000 received 320 votes and the Finance Committee recommendation of $460,031 got 311 votes.

The Unclassified Accounts budget was defeated by 441 people choosing neither recommendation. The selectmen’s recommendation of $1,281,400 received 287 votes and the committee recommendation of $1,491,000, received 347 votes. The Finance Committee had increased the Unclassfied Accounts budget by adding $118,000 to help the Greater Rumford Community Center and $51,000 to aid Black Mountain Ski Resort.

Selectman Jeff Sterling, who served as a deputy warden, said a little more than 1,000 residents came out to vote.

“Not bad for a special town meeting for this time of the year,” Selectman Brad Adley, a fellow deputy warden, said.

Town Manager Puiia said he will contact selectmen by phone on Wednesday to determine when the board will next meet to start work on a new budget for the eight defeated articles.

“The selectmen have 10 days to recommend new numbers and, of course, the Finance Committee will have to chime in again,” Puiia said. “Then, within 45 days, we’ll have to have a revote.”

Selectmen will have to decide how to fund that revote, because the town has no budget yet for elections. That is included in the General Government budget. Puiia said the board only included money for Tuesday’s election.

Voters defeated the initially proposed municipal budget on June 11. Selectmen then reduced their recommendation from the original requested amount of $7.6 million to $6.5 million, and the Finance Committee reduced its budget recommendations to $7.2 million.

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