MEXICO — An Oxford County Superior Court justice denied one of three motions filed Friday to mandate adding the $2.7 million budget cap voters approved last year to the June town meeting warrant.

The other motions are still pending further information from Rumford lawyer Seth Carey on behalf of client Wes Raynor of Mexico, court Assistant Clerk Darlene Richards said Tuesday in Paris.

“They had a hearing and (Justice Robert Clifford) threw it out on Friday,” Mexico Town Manager John Madigan said Tuesday. Carey had asked for a temporary restraining order.

According to the restraining order dated May 22, Raynor wanted the court to prevent Mexico selectmen from approving the annual town meeting municipal budget warrant on Tuesday night, as comprised without Mexico’s Budget Proposal Ordinance that residents approved at town meeting June 4, 2013.

The restraining order states that if selectmen approve the warrant as written, it would be incongruent with the ordinance, which calls for a budget cap of $2,726,731 as approved by residents.

Mexico’s proposed budget is $3.03 million. It will go before voters for a secret ballot vote Tuesday, June 10.


Madigan said he first learned of the order at noon Friday when a court clerk called and asked for the name of Mexico’s attorney. He said town attorney Geoff Hole participated in a hearing that day via conference call with Justice Clifford and Carey.

“Geoff called me back Friday afternoon and said, ‘The judge threw it out;’ his exact words,” Madigan said.

“Our attorney alerted them to their own language about the limitation on the local budget and, by their own definition in the ordinance, they failed to recognize that there is over $1 million of non-tax revenue associated with what they did,” Madigan said of the spending cap ordinance. “But what they thought they did and what they did are two different things.”

He said he tried to explain that to budget cap proponents in mid-March and “they got up and walked out.”

“I made it pretty clear that I complied with their ordinance and that the budget was well within the limits by almost a million dollars,” Madigan said.

“And the definition they have is, ‘For the purpose of this ordinance, local operating costs is defined as all components of the municipal budget to be raised through taxation.’ We’re already restricted to that exact sentence by LD 1, to $1.8 million, and (budget cap proponents) gave us a budget that exceeds $2.7 million.


“And that definition is the definition of LD 1,” Madigan said. “It says, ‘the municipal portion of the budget raised through taxation.’ So our attorney said, ‘Your honor, by their own definition, we’re not in violation of this ordinance,’ and he threw the thing out. That’s what I was told by our attorney. I don’t know what the judge said or how he said it, but that’s how he explained it to me.”

Madigan said he would like to know how much money the plaintiffs are spending to hire Carey.

“Certainly, the town’s going to get a legal bill for at least three hours that our attorney was involved in this (on Friday), and they’re really trying to save the town money?” he asked.

“I treat ordinances seriously. I’m not intentionally ever going to violate any ordinance,” Madigan said.

The other two legal documents filed Friday by Carey on behalf of Raynor include an appeal and complaint, and a preliminary injunction, all pertaining to the budget-cap ordinance.

The first document, which seeks a declaratory judgment, relates to the ordinance’s history.


It states that in early 2013, Mexico Budget Committee member Albert Aniel drafted a citizens’ petition to create an ordinance that capped Mexico’s local operating costs at $2,726,731, “the figure that represented a 10 percent decrease from the previous year’s budget.”

Local operating costs were defined as all components of the municipal budget to be raised through taxation, excluding state, county and school assessments.

The document states that selectmen and Madigan have refused to enact the spending cap. It asks the court to require them to activate and enforce the enacted ordinance spending cap at the June 10 town meeting referendum.

The injunction asks the court to order selectmen and Madigan to ensure that the town cannot exceed the spending cap of $2,726,731, and additional relief, which isn’t specified.

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