Anne Pastore addresses residents Saturday at the Otisfield annual town meeting at the Community Hall. She was elected to a three-year term and Frank “Buddy” Blauvelt Jr., left, was elected to a two-year term. Brendan Bedell, center, was the third candidate. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

OTISFIELD — About 80 residents turned out for Saturday’s annual town meeting at Community Hall, where they approved all financial, administrative and ordinance articles and elected two new officials to the town’s expanded Select Board.

Anne Pastore, no stranger to Otisfield as its previous administrative assistant, won a three-year term. She received 51 votes to her Frank “Buddy” Blauvelt Jr.’s 13 and Brandon Bedell’s four.

Blauvelt and Bedell squared off for a two-year term with Blauvelt getting 47 votes to Bedell’s 28.

Facing no challengers, board Chairman Hal Ferguson was reelected to his seat.

Some residents sought to amend Article 5, which asked voters to choose the board chairman, after Selectman Rick Micklon motioned for Ferguson to be confirmed as chairman for next year, with Selectman Lenny Adler seconding.

During discussion, some voters argued that with a larger board, it is time for Otisfield to eliminate the process as an open town vote and instead make it an order of business for the five officials elected to their roles.

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Although Pastore and Blauvelt indicated they did not intend to seek the lead seat during their first year, Micklon and Ferguson were both in favor of continuing the discussion when another resident made a motion to move the question. The motion to amend Article 5 was narrowly defeated and with the next vote, Ferguson was once more named chairman.

Article 6, selecting a new director to Maine School Administrative District 17, had no volunteers going into the discussion. Resident Jeni Cash-Jordan nominated Kelly Crockett and Mike Newsome nominated himself. Newsome received 37 votes to Crockett’s 36, with one blank ballot. A recount led to the same result.

Mike Newsome (left) addresses Otisfield citizens during Saturday’s annual town meeting as Kelly Crockett looks on. The two were each nominated to serve on Maine School Administrative District 17’s school board. Newsome pulled out a one-ballot victory during the vote. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

Newsome succeeds Anna Gregoire, who is stepping down after a three-year term. Everyone gave her a round of applause for her and her longstanding counterpart — and former board chairman — Diana Olsen for their work on the Oxford Hills School District through a trying number of years.

In Article 9, voters approved transferring the one-room brick schoolhouse to the Bell Hill Meetinghouse Association, which already looks after the real estate at 185 Bell Hill Road along with the Bell Hill Meetinghouse.

The association took up care for the schoolhouse back in 1955, but recent research revealed no deed had ever been filed to make it official. The transfer includes a clause dictating that if the association ever disbands, ownership of the property will revert back to the town of Otisfield.

All budget articles passed without argument or amendment, although voters asked for clarification on those that dealt with capital reserve equipment. Article 14 extends an order to transfer funds derived from the Heniger Park lease to a town equipment reserve account through fiscal year 2035. Voters had previously approved the transfers through fiscal year 2027. Article 15 transfers $260,000 held in the equipment replacement reserve account to the capital investment reserve account.

Voters approved Article 28 to appropriate up to $500,000 for a new firetruck to replace the 28-year-old Engine One. Fire Chief Kyle Jordan is actively looking to acquire a new truck that will have the same equipment setup as Otisfield’s Engine Two and Engine Three. A new engine truck will be financed over a 10-year period and will likely not be delivered for at least two years.

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