DURHAM — Voters in face a lot of decisions at the polls Tuesday.

In addition to helping elect a president and a host of other elected officials, voters also have 13 questions to decide on a special town ballot.

The biggest choice is whether to hire a town manager, a move that officials said is needed to guide a growing community.

“Managing a municipality, even for a midsized town like Durham, is becoming more and more complex and it’s something that’s becoming less and less realistic for a part-time elected official to properly oversee those functions to the degree that we would all like to see them supervised,” Kevin Nadeau, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said during a public hearing on the issue.

Also on the ballot are a series of questions related to whether to allow commercial marijuana businesses in Durham.

“These questions have nothing to do with, and no impact on individual rights to use or grow marijuana for personal use in accordance with state law,” the town board said in a letter to residents.

Town of Durham

“We are only asking if voters want to see marijuana-related businesses in town,” it said. “If any of the commercial establishment types are approved, we are also asking for funds necessary for professional assistance in drafting appropriate ordinances.”

Instead of holding its traditional town meeting, the board opted to rely instead on voting by secret ballot at the same time as the general election in order to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Voting on Tuesday will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Durham Community School, 654 Hallowell Road.


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