LIVERMORE FALLS — As the fourth vote on the town’s administration budget looms Tuesday, Jan. 14, some residents disagree on whether the proposed $195,361 article should pass or fail.

The article is $30,195 more than the 2012-13 budget due to the treasurer’s position being moved to that budget from the elected officials budget. The latter budget passed in July reflected the move, and was about $30,000 less than it was the year before.

The administration budget failed to pass in November 2013 by a vote of 260-258. Selectmen reduced the budget by $2,500 from the lien charges and sent it back to voters. They said the budget was tight and if the lien charges go over, they will deal with it in the future.

The overall 2013-14 budget of $2.25 million is about $50,000 less than the previous year’s budget. The Budget Committee recommended in June a total budget of about $2 million, which was $160,574 less than the selectmen’s proposals. Voters rejected 12 articles at that time.

In July, fewer articles went to voters and all but the administration budget article passed.

Resident Ron Chadwick, a former member of the Budget Committee whose term expired on June 30, 2013, and resident George Cummings, a member of the committee, believe the administration budget should be rejected. Selectmen have not made reappointments to the committee.


Residents Wayne Knowlton and Clayton Wagner say it should be passed.

The Budget Committee’s recommendation for the administration budget was $191,926 in June. The Budget Committee’s recommendations did not appear on the ballot but its recommendations were made public.

“I think the proper process is a ‘no’ vote and for selectmen to look at all the department budgets to make cuts to address the shortfall in the administration budget,” Chadwick said.

He said he is not happy that the town had to transfer about $180,000 from surplus to help cover town expenses for the current year. It is false budgeting, he said.

Voters approved the transfer.

The $180,000 was transferred to help with the shortfall in state revenue sharing and a higher RSU 73 assessment, Town Manager Kristal Flagg said.


Knowlton said the administration budget has to pass for the town to continue business.

“It is not like its a budget that is inflated,” he said. “It is very lean. The pencil has been sharpened until there is no more sharpening to it. It is costing the town money to keep having these votes and eventually it is going to pass as it stands.”

He said he doesn’t think approved budgets should be reopened.

“I don’t think it is even legal,” he said.

You cannot reopen budgets that voters have already approved, Flagg said.

She has heard of mistakes being made and supplemental tax bills being sent out, however.


The other department budgets have been approved and the town is operating on them, she said. The town is also operating on last year’s budget for the administration services, which include treasurer, town manager, office clerk, legal, supplies and dues to organizations.

If the article does not pass, the money will run out since it will be $30,000 short, she said.

The town is not operating on a positive cash flow by spending above revenues, Cummings said.

He said he agrees that the other budgets should be reopened and reduced to make up the shortfall in the administration budget. He thinks selectmen are not doing their jobs because of the negative cash flow, he said.

Wagner concurs with Knowlton.

“I certainly feel it should be passed,” he said. He hasn’t studied the budget in depth but he has studied it. “I cannot see why they would vote it down. I would like to see it passed.”

He didn’t vote in November but plans to vote Tuesday.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office.

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