A large turnout is expected at the New Sharon Town Meeting on Saturday, according to the town clerk.
Town Clerk and Tax Collector Susan Anneley said she has seen a high level of interest in the Board of Selectmen’s race between political newcomer Travis Pond and longtime Chairman Maynard Webster.
Anneley said she thinks the traditionally well-attended annual meeting will have a larger attendance than the usual 120.
“I’m banking on 400,” said Anneley, who recruited an extra ballot clerk to help at the meeting. The town has 1,157 registered voters.
Orange election signs for Pond with the slogan “A change we need” have popped up around the downtown in a campaign for the seat held by Webster, who has been re-elected as selectman for the past 38 years.
Nominations for selectman will be taken from the floor at the meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Cape Cod Hill School. Webster and Pond would need to be nominated from the floor to run for the position. Other residents also may be nominated from the floor for the position.
Town meeting voters will consider an $850,315 budget, up 10 percent from last year. The majority of budget items remained either flat-funded or received a decrease in funding. The road construction and maintenance budget, however, includes a $66,577 increase, raising the requested amount to $336,253.
One warrant article up for a vote at the meeting calls for switching the town’s voting process to a secret ballot. Another calls for residents running for election to file a petition with the town clerk in advance instead of nominations being taken from the floor on the day of Town Meeting.
A recall election ordinance and a minimum lot size ordinance are also up for votes on Saturday.
The recall election ordinance proposes a petition process to set up a vote on whether to remove elected town officials from office if they have been indicted or convicted of a crime. The petition requires the number of signatures equal to 25 percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.
The state has an existing recall election provision that allows municipal officials to be recalled for being indicted or convicted of a crime if the conduct occurred during the official’s term of office, provided that the municipality is a victim of the crime. The petition for a recall election under state law must include the number of signatures equal to 10 percent of the votes cast in the municipality at the most recent gubernatorial election.
The minimum lot size ordinance would require areas served by town water to have a minimum of a 20,000-square-foot lot and 100 feet of road frontage. Areas not served by town water would need at least a 40,000-square-foot lot and 150 feet of road frontage.
Structures would need to be set back 10 feet from any property line and 20 feet from the road.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252