POLAND — The annual municipal budget will be decided at the polls in June, instead of an in-person meeting every April, voters decided Tuesday.

The measure passed by a tally of 2,117 to 563.

Town officials felt a change was needed after Maine declared a civil emergency during the pandemic in 2021 and 2022. That’s when officials switched to voting on the municipal budget at the polls instead of at a public meeting. Turnout over 300 in 2020 and over 400 in 2021. Those numbers were greater than pre-pandemic turnouts at annual meetings.

In June, the question of whether to establish a commission to revise sections of the town charter was presented for a vote, with 271 in favor and 161 against.

In all, voters were asked to make seven charter modifications Tuesday, as recommended by the Charter Commission, and all seven were approved.

Question 1 requires people running for selectperson to establish residence prior to taking out nomination papers; allows notice to selectpersons of special meetings to be done by text; provides for roll call votes of the Board of Selectpersons; authorizes the Board of Selectpersons to investigate the conduct of town boards and committees; and prohibits a selectperson from holding an elected office until one year after leaving office as a selectperson. The question was approved 2,416 to 351.


Question 2 instructs the town manager to designate a deputy manager in his or her absence or disability for 21 days or less. The question passed 2,484 to 293.

Question 3 makes a host of technical changes to personnel provisions within the charter. The question was approved 2,228 to 475.

Question 4 grants authority to the Board of Selectpersons to establish a Community Economic Development Committee; establishes a Scholarship Committee appointed by the Board of Selectpersons to oversee the Poland Scholarship Fund; names the Board of Selectpersons as the town’s library trustees and grants them the power to name members to a new Library Committee. The question was approved 2,153 to 549.

Question 5 allows the annual town meeting to be held at the polls in June and includes other language facilitating that change.

Question 6 removes the Library board of trustees from the list of elected candidates since the Board of Selectpersons will serve as trustees. The question passed 2,052 to 644.

Question 7 establishes the terms of elected officials will begin July 1. The question passed 2,141 to 547.

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