Chesterville voters hold orange cards Monday to vote on an article at the annual Town Meeting. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser Buy this Photo

CHESTERVILLE — Residents voted 28-6 Monday to authorize selectpersons to research the feasibility of having a town manager.

Selectperson Tiffany Estabrook told those at the annual Town Meeting that since the article was included in Monday’s warrant she has been approached by several other towns about sharing a manager. She said some residents asked selectpersons to look into it.

Reasons included lack of access to selectpersons by employees and new selectpersons being elected periodically.

Keeping continuity is a big plus, Selectperson Scott Gray said.

“I work with towns smaller than we are that have town managers,” resident Tomothy LeSiege said. “We’re not too small.”

Not everyone on the Board of Selectpersons is in favor, Selecperson Linda Bauer said, but didn’t say who they were.

“It’s not going to cost anything to look into it,” resident David Gray said.

An article authorizing selectpersons to sell or dispose of surplus equipment was amended by resident Ann Lambert, requiring such revenue to be deposited into their respective reserve accounts.

Lambert also amended the budget article for public works so any remaining balance at the end of the year would be carried over to the next.

An article calling upon elected officials to enact carbon-pricing legislation failed, 16-26.

If enacted, a ‘carbon fee’ would be charged to producers of fossil fuels as the fuel enters the economy. The fee is based on how many tons of carbon dioxide are emitted when the fuel is burned and would start at $15 per ton of carbon dioxide. Every legal U.S. citizen would get an equal check monthly.

“Each person gets the same amount, no matter how much they make or spend,” resident Cynthia Stancioff said. “Passing this article sends a message.”

“I am not in favor,” Bauer said. “I’m not ensured this money will come back to us. A lot of us are in dire straights because of the pandemic.”

Most people would be better off with this law, resident Paul Stancioff said.

“It’s just like minimum wage,” LeSiege said. “Minimum wage increases, costs increase.”

“Hydrogen is going to be the energy of the future,” Selectperson Guy Iverson said.

“Hydrogen is manufactured by using fossil fuels,”  Jim Grippe, an engineer, said. “We need to understand this.”

There’s not a chance that solar, wind will be enough, he added.

“This is a tax increase,” Grippe said. “I am not going to vote for a tax increase.”

Voters also said no to implementing a healthy harvest wood program on town properties. The town owns 80 to 90 acres, Estabrook said.

“None of this forest is healthy because we haven’t done anything to it,” she said.

“Can’t we put this off for a few years?” resident Carroll Corbin asked.

Selectperson Gray said a survey will be needed.

“It’s becoming a fire hazard,” Selectperson John Archer said. “Something needs to be done.”

The vote was 13-27.

Voters approved all budget articles as recommended by selectpersons.

The $1.1 million budget is $40,766 more than last year and does not include assessments for Franklin County Regional School Unit 9 budgets.

In discussion of the administration budget, resident Kathy Gregory said even with the new electronic sign in front of the Town Office a lot of people didn’t know about Friday’s elections and Monday’s town meeting. She proposed adding $1,200 to mail information to voters. The proposal was not accepted because amounts listed in articles can not be increased, according to Grippe.

Bauer was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Selectpersons and LeSiege to a one-year term on the board.


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