LIVERMORE FALLS — Former Selectman Ken Jacques told selectmen Tuesday night that he was disappointed they didn’t allow a public vote on whether the town should contribute $1,000 to the Betterment Group.

“I’m disappointed that the board did not bring this to the community,” Jacques said. “The Betterment Group (sponsors) History Night, the Sled-In, the annual cleanup. It was a slap in the face for the Betterment Group,” he said. “It was wrong and doesn’t move the town forward. I believe it will disband next month.”

At issue was a board vote earlier this month that did not include the customary $1,000 used by the Betterment Group in the proposed municipal budget. The group has sponsored the annual History Night for at least a dozen years, and more recently, the Sled-In. Each event has been well-attended.

Selectman Ron Chadwick, one of the two selectmen who voted against placing the request on the warrant, said discussions in the Budget Committee also did not agree to fund the group this year. He could not say why he did not vote in favor of funding the Betterment Group.

“I respect your decision, but it could have been put on the warrant,” Jacques said. “The group has done a lot. History Night is the one night when a thousand people get together.”

Jacques is a former member of the Betterment Group.


Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Louise Chabot, who was one of two selectmen who voted to fund the group, said the organization does not have sufficient funds to buy insurance.

Selectman James Collins also voted to place an article on the warrant asking for $1,000 for the Betterment group.

Chadwick and Selectman Mary Young did not.

Selectman Laurie Sanborn was absent at the time of the vote.

Young said she was torn about placing the $1,000 request on the warrant.

“I do support the Betterment Group, and we (the town) do support it through the police, highway and fire departments,” she said.


Chabot said the decision could be changed during a special town meeting in July scheduled to take up the tax incentive financing budget.

The regular town meeting, which will be held through referendum, takes place June 9.

Town Manager Kristal Flagg said municipal insurance covers groups who operate under the town’s umbrella. The Betterment Group does not.

She said the group could operate under the town’s insurance if it became a part of the municipal groups. She said other groups, such as 4-H, the American Legion and the Girl Scouts, hold their own insurance.

Chabot said the Betterment Group does not have enough money to buy their own insurance, estimated to cost about $4,000 by group President Bob Berry.

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