MONMOUTH — Residents on Tuesday voted 945 to 242 to overhaul the town’s recall ordinance, allowing for a simple majority for a recall an elected official rather than the two-third previously required.

The new ordinance also requires that 10 percent of the town’s registered voters vote on the recall for it to be official.

Other action Tuesday included;

• a $400,000 grant for a facelift at the town Grange passed  978 to 223;

• the time period for recording a subdivision plan was extended from 30 days to 90s days by a 971 to 243 vote;

• approved a new subsection to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance pertaining to setbacks from private roads in the shoreland zones, 847 to 372.

Belgrade cemetery restrictions pass

BELGRADE — Residents voted 758 to 231 on Tuesday to amend the Belgrade Cemetery Ordinance to allow nonresidents to be buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, as long as they have been landowners or were born in town.

Voters originally approved the ordinance change at Town Meeting in March, but an issue with the wording required another vote.

With the new ordinance, non-residents can buy cemetery lots provided they:

• were born in Belgrade;

• have blood relatives either living in the community or buried in the cemetery; or

• own and have paid property taxes on property in town for at least 20 years.

Voters also adopted a pace ordinance to provide residents access to efficiency loans.

Maine GOP head takes heat for ad

AUGUSTA — Maine Republican Chairman Charles Webster is defending campaign ads that mention a gay rights group’s funding of Democratic candidates and the campaign for same-day voter registration.

Webster said Tuesday the ads are factual, and meant to highlight the difference between his party’s constituency and that of the Democrats.

The ads, which appeared in weekly newspapers and as inserts, said the EqualityMaine group, which supports gay rights and same-sex-marriage, donated $5,000 and helped in the petition drive in support of the voter registration referendum.

State Democratic Chair Ben Grant and Betsy Smith of EqualityMaine both called the ads “homophobic,” and the political activist group Maine’s Majority called them “shameless and disgusting.” Andrew Ian Dodge, a tea partier and GOP Senate hopeful, called for Webster to resign. Webster says he will not.

Gay marriage group exceeds petition goal

PORTLAND — Gay marriage supporters in Maine have surpassed their goal for petitions to be used if they decide to press forward with another referendum next year.

Betsy Smith of EqualityMaine says 396 volunteers collected more than 36,000 signatures on Election Day, bringing the total number to 100,000. That’s more than enough petitions to get gay marriage onto the statewide ballot if the group chooses to do so. Smith says the group will make its decision on a referendum in January.

Maine is currently the only state in New England that doesn’t allow either gay marriage or civil unions.

Maine lawmakers approved a gay marriage law, but it was overturned by a statewide referendum in 2009.

Republicans retain Dexter House seat

DEXTER — Voters have elected a Republican to fill a central Maine House seat left vacant when the previous lawmaker resigned after being charged with pulling a loaded gun on a stranger. 

Raymond Wallace of Dexter defeated Democrat David Pearson 1,170 to 1,026 votes for House District seat 24. Independent Lesley Maynard came in third with 186 votes.

Former Republican Rep. Frederick Wintle of Garland resigned in September four months after being accused of pointing a handgun at a man in a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot in Waterville.

He was indicted last month on charges of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, reckless conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.

With Wallace’s election, the makeup of the Maine House remains unchanged with 78 Republicans, 72 Democrats and one independent.

From staff and wire reports