RUMFORD — On Election Day next month, this town will have a new Charter Commission. Three people have been appointed by selectmen; the other six will be chosen by voters Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The commission will be tasked with either revising or amending or getting rid of Rumford’s 1951 charter.

In June, selectmen asked residents if they wanted the town to establish a Charter Commission to revise the charter or establish a new one. A majority approved having a commission by a tally of 617-410.

For the past two years, selectmen have voiced frustration with the charter, which has been revised and amended since its inception 62 years ago.

“It really needs streamlining and cleaning up for the 21st century,” Selectman Jeff Sterling said Tuesday in an email. “Since I have been on the board, I have found that there are conflicts between the charter and the ordinances. Those need to be cleaned up.”

Additionally, Sterling said the local political activist group, Save Rumford, needs a charter change for its $6.2 million spending cap proposal.


“With that, I would like to see the whole election and secret ballot situation looked at, specifically moving the voting on the initiated articles back to the business meeting,” he said.

Voting is done at the polls on town meeting matters.

Selectmen Chairman Greg Buccina said Wednesday that conflicts between town ordinances and the charter have cost money in legal fees through trying to determine how to conduct town business. He said the town has lost out on some ventures, as a result.

As he’s mentioned in the past, Buccina said he believes the charter should be thrown out and rely on the ordinances.

“If we’re going to keep it, we need to make it more business friendly so we don’t have to jump through hoops to conduct town business,” he said.

On the plus side, Buccina said the charter “does define how you conduct business and contributes to transparency … but the ordinances can accomplish the same goal.”

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