ANDOVER — After electing Bob Duplessie moderator at Saturday’s special town meeting, it took 55 residents about 90 minutes to work through seven warrant articles.

The articles pertained to municipal budget items that are usually handled at the annual town meeting in March. Several attempts were made to amend articles and push them off until that meting next year, but none were approved.

Article 2 wanted to take $1,395 from surplus to cover an overdraft in the Save Our School account. It was amended and approved to instead take the money from the Carryover Withdrawal Committee account, which voters created at the March town meeting.

Treasurer Barbara Simmons said the Save Our School account ended in January when residents failed to approve leaving SAD 44. The new account was created and funded when it was decided to try again.

Article 3 sought $20,500 to be appropriated into the Highway Equipment Repairs and Maintenance account to cover repairs to the town truck that broke down. Town meeting voters in March only approved $9,300.

The article was approved, as was Article 4, which sought to increase the March appropriation for the Town Hall account from $2,500 to $5,636.


Voters approved Article 5, donating $500 to the Ellis Pond Watershed Survey Conservation Project in Roxbury.

For Article 6, voters approved increasing the March town meeting appropriation from $12,000 to $16,000 for the Professional Services account.

Discussion bogged down on Article 7, which sought to increase Code Enforcement Officer Robert Folsom Sr.’s salary from the $15.13 per hour approved at the March town meeting to $20 an hour.

Selectman Judy Tabb said the town previously paid Folsom mileage from his home in Upton to Andover while his salary was $13 to $14 an hour. Selectmen later changed his mileage pay from the Andover town line to his job instead of from his home.

Folsom, however, didn’t “feel that it was worth his time to come to Andover for that amount of money and he wanted the mileage,” Tabb said.

She said a Maine Municipal Association salary survey recommended paying part-time code enforcement officers a minimum of $20 an hour and that’s why selectmen recommend raising Folsom’s salary to that amount.


Resident Leo Camire said Folsom got a new contract in March and a 3 percent raise, and should be content with that and not seek a 33 percent increase.

Answering another question, Tabb said Folsom is worth the $20 an hour salary, because he is state certified and can represent Andover in cases that go to court.

Selectman Jim Adler said having a code enforcement officer as qualified as Folsom is and only paying him $20 an hour was akin to “getting the most bang for the buck.”

“I talked with other towns and the consensus I got was, ‘You have a CEO who will do (the job) for that amount of money? You guys are lucky,'” Adler said.

Resident Nadine Ross argued that it should go to town meeting next March.

“I’m not saying he’s not worth it,” she said.


Road Commissioner Marshall Meisner, a former longtime Andover Planning Board member, said Folsom is well worth the pay increase.

“In my opinion, this gentleman is the only true certified CEO the town of Andover has ever had,” Meisner said. “I would highly recommend, with what the Planning Board is going through now, that they give this gentleman his pay raise.”

Another former longtime planning board member, Leon Akers, said it was an honor to have Folsom working for the town. “He is a very good CEO,” Akers said.

Susan Ross moved to table the article so it could be taken up at the March 2016 town meeting.

Adler reiterated that Folsom’s paid mileage would start from Andover’s town line and his salary or fee would start once he reaches a job site. Adler also mildly chastised residents arguing against the salary increase.

“Twenty dollars a month (to attend meetings), this isn’t huge money for what we’re getting,” he said. Additionally, Adler said a lot of fees are offset by money brought in from permits. “So, you’re really arguing about peanuts here for what we’re getting.”


Resident Anna Camire, Leo’s wife, said Folsom’s job isn’t to attend meetings, but rather to be in town enforcing town codes. Twenty dollars a month does add up if he’s doing the job he’s supposed to be doing, she said.

Resident Dave Belanger, who said he is a former realtor who has dealt with code enforcement officers, spoke up for Folsom, saying it’s important to get a qualified officer.

Planning Board member Donna Libby also lobbied to keep Folsom. “We really need to keep this man on board. He knows what he’s doing,” she said.

Then Libby said there are many places in Andover that aren’t paying taxes or following town law and getting building permits from the Planning Board prior to starting construction.

“This is why it costs so much money right now to send out the CEO to handle these things, because people didn’t get permits,” she said. “They didn’t follow the rules. They’re not just Andover rules, they’re state regulations.”

Adler said town officials just learned of a new house that was built in Sawyer Notch in the woods without permits and had never been taxed.


“We’re catching up with a lot of things like this that have been going on for years,” he said. “That’s why having (Folsom) is so important.”

Libby said it’s not Folsom’s responsibility to look for tax evaders. That’s up to the assessors, who are the selectmen.

Leo Camire then angrily accused town officials of paying Folsom under the table for mileage from Upton when he was also getting an hourly wage to drive from Upton to Andover for planning board meetings. Camire wanted to wait until March 2015 to take up the $20 salary matter.

But a majority rejected Susan Ross’s motion to table the article, and then approved the wage increase by a tally of 27 to 20.

Voters then approved changing the Town Hall custodian’s pay from salary to hourly at $7.50.

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