LIVERMORE — A resident will need to circulate petitions to get 10 articles on the June town meeting warrant.

Dwight Hines sent selectmen Chairwoman Megan Dion a letter dated Feb. 23, suggesting the articles.

The Board of Selectpersons voted unanimously March 10 that Hines should circulate petitions to get the articles on the warrant, Administrative Assistant Kurt Schaub said last week.

Town Clerk Renda Guild said Hines would have to collect at least 123 signatures of registered voters for each petition. The number needed is 10 percent of the 1,232 people who voted during last gubernatorial race, she said.

Among the suggested articles on Hines’ list is the purchase of a speakerphone a selectperson who cannot make a meeting can vote over the phone. Others are setting up a suggestion box for residents and providing free homemade cookies and coffee at official meetings, creating an ordinance to reduce the costs of Livermore’s administration, and requiring the town to advertise regularly for sealed bids for insurance and legal services.

On Monday, Hines said that “chocolate chip cookies and coffee and tea will have to be included for sure” on the list of potential articles.

He said the others are on hold due to the number of signatures needed, but it’s not that difficult to get four or five petitions signed at the same time.

Schaub said the town has not bid on insurance for some time, nor has it ever bid on legal services that he knows about.

“On the insurance front, the last time we did a bid was approximately eight or nine years ago when we first went with Maine Municipal Association Risk Management Services,” he said Tuesday. “Our liability and property and casualty coverage was with Keyes Insurance for many years, prior to going out to bid. When we bid, MMA was the lower. Keyes continued to pursue the business for three or four subsequent years, but MMA was consistently lower.”

Since then, town officials have monitored the annual expense.

“This year, our property/casualty/liability coverage cost $16,622,” he said. “In 2006, it was $13,238, or an average annual increase of $423 (about 3 percent). This does not include program dividends, which this year was $1,025.” 

As for legal services, the town does not pay a legal retainer.

“We pay for services rendered, which mostly consists of our attorney acting as bond counsel when we borrow money — a requirement,” Schaub said. “We spend little additional funds on lawyer fees.”

Livermore has been with the law firm of Bernstein Shur in Portland for more than 15 years, he said.

“In that time, we have gotten to know the firm, and the firm has gotten to know us,” he said. “There is value in those kinds of relationships that doesn’t show up in a bid. Also, in code- or violation-related matters, we routinely seek reimbursement for our cost of legal services, so that part doesn’t cost our taxpayers at all.”

Last year, the legal budget was $5,150, but the actual, unreimbursed legal expense was $1,541, he said.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.