DIXFIELD — The Board of Selectmen on Monday debated returning to a traditional annual town meeting and scrapping the current practice of voting on warrant articles at the polls.

The discussion began when Town Manager Carlo Puiia talked about what to do if if one or more budget articles fail at the referendum vote. He said the town would have three options:

• Go with the prior year’s budget;

• Have another referendum vote; or

• Hold a traditional town meeting.

Selectman Norm Mitchell said he favors the traditional town meeting, preferably on a Saturday morning.


Selectman Aaron Jamison agreed with him.

However, Selectman Gene Skibitsky countered, “Until I hear different from voters, we should stay with the referendum vote.”

Resident Dana Whittemore said one reason people switched from the annual town meeting was because someone could bring 35 of their friends to pass one or more of the budget articles.

Puiia said a public hearing to discuss the warrant articles will be held Thursday, June 1, with voting on Tuesday, June 13.

Jamison asked if the amounts on budget items could be changed at the town hearing June 1.

Puiia said they cannot.


Board Chairwoman Norine Clarke asked if selectmen wanted to vote on changing the June 1 hearing to a Saturday morning. However, a motion was never made.

Puiia said a decision to use one of the three options would likely depend on the amount of money in the failed budget article, or the number of articles voters rejected.

In other business, the board voted 3-1 to purchase a 2014 three-quarter ton pickup with plow for the Water District from the Mexico Water District, with a trade-in price of the Dixfield Water District truck to be determined.

Jim White, superintendent for both water districts, said Dixfield’s truck has a trade-in value of $7,000, but selectmen want to first put it up for bids.

Mexico’s truck has 61,000 miles and is valued at $19,000.

White said the Mexico Water District is purchasing a new truck.

Jamison voted against the measure, saying he didn’t think Dixfield needed a new used truck.

Selectman Hart Daley was absent.

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