OXFORD — In an effort to improve communication and increase participation, Town Manager Adam Garland asked selectmen Thursday evening about making changes to the budget process and annual town meeting in June.

As he circulated his proposed schedule to the board, he suggested the Budget Committee meet jointly with selectmen ahead of their 5 p.m. Thursday meetings. Each week would focus on a different department.

Garland said he has discussed the changes with the Budget Committee members and all are on board with it.

He said department heads are working on five-year capital purchase plans. Requests for this coming year will be aggregated and Garland will have the managers provide recommendations on which accounts are logical to draw from.

“I’m planning on those (purchase requests) going through the budget process,” Garland said. “But in the end, if it doesn’t need to go to town meeting because there is a reserve account, then selectmen would vote to fund it that way instead.”

He said he would like to streamline some budgets where one department head oversees multiple ones, like fire and rescue.


Selectmen agreed.

Board Scott Hunter said to avoid sticker shock at town meeting, detailing the changes in the meeting articles will be helpful for residents.

“Last year there was some discussion about town meeting, whether it’s better on Saturday or on a weeknight,” Garland said. “As a way to get more people to attend, I’d like the board to think about that.”

“I’m all for getting people to come, however you do it,” Selectman Floyd Thayer said. “I’d like to see it on the (social) media page to get public input on it. Ask what the ideal time would be, just to see if there is interest in changing it.”

Selectman Dana Dillingham cautioned that graduation events in June could impact weeknight meeting attendance.

In other business, selectmen approved the appointments of Janet Smith to the Recreation Committee, James Goforth to the Appeals Board and Teresa Grenier as registrar of voters.


Aaron and Amanda Ouellette of Mechanic Falls, co-owners from Daddy-O’s restaurant in Oxford Plaza on Route 26, attended the meeting to donate $2,500 to the town. Traditionally they have supported the Keeping Oxford Warm heating fund, but asked town officials to accept a donation to help residents who don’t qualify for General Assistance but still have needs.

“If they qualify for General Assistance they can get funds that way,” Aaron Ouellette said. “But if they fall through the cracks for any reason and have a legitimate need, we’d like this money to go to those people.”

Garland said applicants who do not qualify for General Assistance would be given vouchers to help them buy food, fuel or gasoline from local businesses.

The Ouellettes collected $4,400 through Daddy-O’s Acts of Kindness Foundation from serving Thanksgiving meals. They decided to expand the donation, which normally goes to Oxford, to include Norway and Paris, with each town receiving $2,500.

Selectmen voted unanimously to accept the gift.

Selectmen also approved a $4,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. The money will pay for cardiac defibrillators in the Oxford Municipal Center, Recreation Center, Public Safety Building, Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Highway Department garage.

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