LIVERMORE — Selectpersons Tuesday night, Jan. 19, discussed holding an open Town Meeting this year although no vote was taken.

Last year, town meeting was held by referendum ballot vote because of COVID-19, Administrative Assistant Aaron Miller said.

“I contacted Maine Municipal Association. On the 12th, they came out with updated guidelines,” Miller said. “It’s still a 50 people limit for indoor meetings. I want to put this on your radar. Town meeting will be here before you know it.”

The Livermore Town Meeting recently has been held on the second Wednesday in June. Last year it was moved to Tuesday to save on overtime costs because the town office is closed Wednesdays.

“We could tentatively do an outdoor meeting with 100 people,” Selectperson Brett Deyling said. He spoke of drive-in style meetings for large groups where people listen over their vehicle’s radio and weather doesn’t matter.

Selectperson Tracey Martin said the town could be in trouble if 101 showed up for an outdoor meeting.

After the votes were counted for the referendum town meeting in August, Town Clerk Renda Guild said 137 residents voted, 41 by absentee ballot.

There were 46 in attendance at the 2019 Town Meeting, resident and Planning Board member Jim Manter said.

“I like the style of town meeting when people can discuss the questions, include the town in these discussions,” Deyling said. “The yes or no questions doesn’t really embody what we’re trying to do.”

The state of emergency may not still be in effect come June, Martin said.

Budget Committee Chairman Warren Forbes said he wasn’t sure what was going to happen if people get vaccinated and the numbers go down. They may say we can have more in a meeting, he added.

Forbes said he had an issue with the referendum vote style of town meeting.

“There were four or five articles on the warrant where we disagreed (with selectpersons) in the amounts,” he said. “When it went to referendum, we voted yes or no on what the selectpersons recommended. There was no space for the Budget Committee’s recommendation.

“To me, that’s not a choice,” Forbes said. “That’s putting the town at a disadvantage.”

“I agree,” Deyling said. “In an open town meeting it’s not just a choice of this or that, someone can recommend a different amount. I’m strongly in favor of an open town meeting, whatever we have to do to make that happen.”

A tentative timeline for developing the budget was also agreed upon.

Miller will pull together figures on what has been spent so far this fiscal year. He will also provide figures for the three prior years so trends can be seen.

Selectperson Chairman Mark Chretien will meet with department heads to put together budget proposals around mid-February. Selectpersons and the Budget Committee will receive the budget figures about two weeks before the two committees hold joint meetings, beginning mid-March, to review the proposed budget for fiscal year 2021-2022.

In other business, Deyling stated he is not against ice fishing on Brettuns Pond.

“I think it’s excellent people are using the pond,” he said. “I don’t care if people drive vehicles on the pond.

“I’m just trying to protect the small grassy area next to the pond,” Deyling said.

A different way to get onto the pond may need to be considered due to issues with salt scraping along route 4, he said.

“I’m not trying to tell people not to use the pond,” Deyling said.

Comments are not available on this story.