WEST GARDINER — Voters selected Angela Phillis to be the next town clerk, excise tax collector and administrator to the selectmen.
Phillis received 127 of the 631 votes cast for the position, which voters converted last year from a one-year to a three-year term.
Tallies for the other candidates were James R. Howe, 112; Kim E. Flynn, 102; Tabatha L. Hustus, 71; Heather M. Hinkley, 69; Heidi Peckham, 66 write-in votes; Ann Plourde, 45; Jennah K. Cunningham, 29. Peckham resigned as clerk in December to take a job with the state.
Major items on the warrant for Saturday’s Town Meeting included the $1 million budget and an ordinance setting procedures to recall elected town officials.
All budget articles were approved as presented. The municipal budget is about $6,500 more than last year.
Voters also overwhelmingly approved the recall ordinance, with only a few raising their hands in opposition.
Voters rejected another recall ordinance when it appeared on the ballot in June, by a vote of 112-68.
Gregory Couture, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the rejected ordinance allowed for a recall only if an elected official is convicted of a crime that harmed the town. That’s a high bar to clear and can take a long time, Couture said, pointing to the example of former Chelsea selectwoman Carole Swan’s conviction last year for charges first levied against her in 2011.
Couture researched other recall ordinances and chose three other acceptable reasons for a recall: being charged with a crime that harms the town, not doing the job to which the official was elected or engaging in conduct that displays unfitness for office. The other selectmen supported the ordinance that Couture drafted.
It’s up to the petitioner gathering signatures to make the case for recall and up to voters to decide if the official’s behavior meets the criteria for recall, Couture said.
There are also limitations in the ordinance on initiating a recall too soon after a person takes office or before a regularly scheduled election.
The warrant article that received the most discussion Saturday was to rename the Collins Mills Dam Repair account to the Town Landing account and to use the $3,239 in the account to create a town landing off Collins Mills Road.
The dam was repaired with donations rather than the money the town had set aside, and the selectmen have been working with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on approval and plans for a boat landing.
Resident Lyn Traver moved to table the article until next year, saying there’s not enough information available about the design of the landing, what type of watercraft could be launched there or plans to protect the stream from invasive milfoil.
“This can be a really good thing if done the right way,” she said. “It can also be a really bad thing if done the wrong way.”
Traver’s motion to table failed, and the article was approved with only a handful of people in opposition.
Couture said there will be a public hearing on the plan once it’s solidified, probably sometime this summer.