RANGELEY — Townspeople are being asked to consider changing the method of voting on the town warrant from an open town meeting to voting at the polls in a secret ballot referendum.

If approved at the annual town meeting at 6 p.m. on June 16 at Rangeley Lakes Regional School, the referendum process would not go into effect until the annual town meeting in 2017.

It would be a great opportunity to get more people to vote and to have more voices heard, Town Manager Tim Pellerin said. It would allow people to vote in privacy.

The referendum process also would provide for an option for people to vote by absentee ballot within 30 days of the vote.

Typically, 80 to 90 people turn out for an annual town meeting, he said.

Under the proposed ballot vote, two public hearings would be held, one to discuss and recommend each warrant article and one after selectmen have created the warrant for voters to learn what each article represents, Pellerin said.

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There would be an article on the warrant, if voters choose to change the method, that if an article failed, the department the rejected article pertained to would be able to use up to three-twelfths of its previous year’s budget until a new budget for that department is approved, he said.

The proposed 2016-17 town budget, not factoring in the school assessment or county tax, is proposed at 1.88 percent less than the current, $3.96 million budget, Pellerin said.

The proposed budget is $3.89 million and reflects a decrease of $74,752 from the current budget. 

The town’s proposed share of county tax is estimated at $614,000, Pellerin said. The Franklin County budget is not finalized. This year’s share was $617,819. Rangeley’s estimated share of Regional School Unit 78’s proposed $3.88 million budget is $2.59 million, a projected increase of $245,662, Pellerin said.

The proposed school budget is up $176,953 over the current spending plan, bringing the estimated 0verall 2016-17 municipal budget, if all passes as is, to about $7.1 million, an increase of $167,563 over the existing budget, a 2.55 percent increase.

The proposed school budget goes to voters in a district-wide meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, in the gymnasium at the school. A referendum validation vote is scheduled for June 14 at the polls in respective voting places. The proposal can be viewed on the system’s website at www.rangeleyschool.org. Once you reach the site, the budget information is listed down on the right-hand side.

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On the town’s side, voters will be asked to consider 48 articles on June 16 and four proposed ordinances. The ordinances are available at the Town Office or on the town’s website townofrangeley.com. The proposed ordinances are Recall of Elected Officials, amendments to draft Chapter 14 vendors licenses, Rules and Regulations of Cemeteries, and draft Chapter 22 nuisance/noise. Once you go to the town’s website, go to Government and under that tab click on Ordinance Committee. The proposed ordinances are listed at the bottom of the page.

Five Budget Committee members will be nominated from the floor at the meeting.

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Rangeley election

Polls will be open at the Rangeley Town Office from  8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, to elect town and school officials.

Three people are running for two selectmen seats. Candidates are James Carnigan, Shelly Lowell and Donald Nuttall. Lowell and Nuttall currently hold the positions.

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Three candidates are running for two seats on the Parks Commission. They are Kash Haley, Linda Henderson and James Jannace. Henderson is currently on the Parks Commission.

Lindsey Savage is unopposed in a bid for a two-year term on the commission.

Only one candidate, Elizabeth Eastlack, is running for three seats on the RSU 78 board of directors.  She is running for a three-year term. No candidates are listed on the ballot for a three-year term and a two-year term on the board.

Three people are seeking to be elected to the Rangeley Water District to fill three terms. Christopher Farmer and Thomas Haggan are running for three-year terms. Keith Savage is running for a one-year term.

Two three-year terms on the Sewer Commission also had no takers. Ethan Shaffer is running for a two-year position. 


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