MEXICO — The Board of Selectmen voted 3-1 Tuesday evening to ask the town manager to draft a budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year that attempts to reduce each department’s budget by 10 percent.

Selectmen Albert Aniel, Byron Ouellette and Andy Dupuis voted in favor of the motion, while Selectman Reggie Arsenault was the lone dissenting vote.

The issue was brought up after Aniel told the board that he wanted Town Manager John Madigan to look at reducing 10 percent from each department when drafting a budget proposal for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

“We’ve got to start somewhere,” Aniel said. “I don’t want to face another budget increase this year.”

Aniel said that the “10 percent for each department doesn’t have to be set in stone, as long as the overall budget is down 10 percent. There may be a department that needs a little more money this year. However, if one budget increases, it would have to be offset by money somewhere else. We can’t keep operating under the idea of ‘business as usual.’”

Dupuis agreed, saying, “We can’t wait until the last minute to do this.”


Before Board of Selectmen Chairman Richie Philbrick called for a vote, Aniel said that he didn’t want to see anyone losing jobs because of a decreased budget.

“Maybe there’s a way we can do it by decreasing the number of pencils or erasers we buy or by slowing down how often we put money in the reserve funds,” Aniel said. “There’s a way to do this that allows us to save money and keep our departments strong.”

Arsenault said that he believed reducing the budget was worth pursuing, but didn’t agree with reducing each department by 10 percent.

Aniel replied, “We should be asking our town manager to contact each of the department heads, asking them to reduce their budgets by 10 percent. If, for some reason, it’s not possible for them to do that, we should have them let him know.”

In other business, the selectmen voted 4-1 to allow the Planning Board to continue drafting new ordinances, unless they did not have the proper knowledge to complete it.

Aniel was the lone dissenting vote.


Philbrick, who also serves on the town’s Planning Board, said that several issues that will likely result in new ordinances are on the horizon.

“The Planning Board just wants to know whether we should continue working on the ordinances the way we have been, or if the selectmen want to take over control,” Philbrick said.

Aniel said that he believes the Planning Board should only be responsible for land-use issues, and that the Board of Selectmen should be responsible for preparing all ordinances.

“I don’t know when the Planning Board started doing ordinances, but I think it should be up to us, as a selectboard, to work on ordinances,” Aniel said.

Philbrick mentioned that if the Board of Selectmen took over preparing ordinances, they would have to schedule several more meetings throughout the year to complete the work.

Arsenault recommended that the selectmen continue allowing the Planning Board to prepare ordinances.

“We’re going to be working on our budget soon, and we still have joint meetings with Rumford coming up,” Arsenault said to the board. “I think we should consider leaving the ordinances to the Planning Board, unless something comes up that we don’t know how to deal with. The selectmen still get final say on whether the ordinance is complete.”

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