The State of Maine November 2, 2021 ballot is available for absentee voting.  There are two Franklin County Referendum questions on this year’s ballot.  Question 1 asks if the position of elected County Treasurer should be abolished and replaced with a Treasurer appointed by the County Commissioners.  Question 2 asks voters if they favor increasing the number of Franklin County Commission Districts from three to five beginning in 2024.
Commission Districts are divided up based on population so that each District contains an approximately equal proportion of the County’s residents.  Historically the southern Franklin County towns of Farmington, Wilton and Jay have had the majority of assessed property value and over half of Franklin County’s population.  These factors have allowed this area to be well represented at the County Commissioner level.
Population trends have not changed significantly but State assessed property valuations have.  State assessed valuations determine how much county tax each town pays.  The Town of Rangeley and the three surrounding Plantations have just 6% of the population but pay approximately 25% of the total county tax.  The Carrabassett Valley area has 8% of the population and pays approximately 25% of the total county tax.     These two areas which account for 50% of the county tax would be included in the same newly formed Commissioner District.
The increase in the number of Commissioner Districts will allow for the election of more locally based Commissioners.  According to District 17 Senator Russell Black there will be no increased cost to taxpayers by having five County Commissioners instead of three.  The Commissioners pay budget would stay the same but would be split five ways rather than three.
Many northern Franklin County residents feel that it is time for an area that pays 50% of the county tax to have a local Commissioner to represent their interests.  The Rangeley Board of Selectmen feel that the most effective way to get improved local representation is to vote in favor of increasing the number of Commissioner Districts from three to five on Franklin County Referendum Question number 2 on the November 2, 2021 ballot.
For more information contact District 17 Senator Russell Black at [email protected] or the Franklin County Commission Office at 778-6614.

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