RUMFORD — It took five tries in five months, but town officials finally have a municipal budget, thanks to Tuesday’s voters. They approved a proposed $1.19 million budget for Unclassified Accounts by a tally of 582-312.

Voters also approved, 548-196, the Comprehensive Plan update that town meeting voters rejected in June.

Residents elected six people to the Charter Commission: Ryan Palmer, 696; Christopher Brennick, 693; Roger Viger Jr., 658; Richard Greene, 638; Eric Davis, 586; and James Windover, 560. Candidate Candice Casey received 393 votes.

The six will join Michael Peter Chase, Amy Bernard and Kevin Saisi, who were appointed by selectmen Oct. 1.

Tuesday’s voting results in Rumford are considered unofficial until Town Clerk Beth Bellegarde recounts and certifies them the day after the election.

On Oct. 8, voters approved raising and appropriating $4 million for seven of eight budget amounts. These were: general government, public safety, police and fire departments, Public Works, General Assistance and capital accounts. A tie vote of 478-478 on the $1.27 million Unclassified Accounts budget meant it wasn’t approved.


Voters initially turned down all 12 money articles on June 11. They totaled $7.5 million. Selectmen cut $1 million from the next budget, which was presented July 23. The Finance Committee reduced the proposed budget to $7.2 million.

At the July referendum, eight of the 12 budget articles were rejected. Passed were $1.25 million in funds for health and sanitation, the Rumford Public Library, public service and debt service.

In a third referendum Aug. 27, voters again shot down the eight remaining budget articles.

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

For the past two years, selectmen have run afoul of the charter when trying to conduct town business. Conflicts have arisen between ordinances and the charter. Additionally, local political activist group, Save Rumford, needs a charter change to implement its $6.2 million spending-cap proposal.

In June, selectmen asked townspeople if they wanted the town to establish a Charter Commission to revise the charter or establish a new one. The commission was approved by a vote of 617-410.

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