PALERMO — Local voters will elect at least two new town officials Friday and will have a chance on Saturday to begin implementing recommendations to reduce Town Office costs.

In the election, Simeon Blake Brown, Holly Harmon and Robert Temple are vying to replace Sophia Glidden, who is not running for another term on the Board of Selectmen.

Will Sugg is unopposed in seeking to succeed Brown on the Regional School Unit 12 board.

Incumbent Treasurer Contessa Mancini, who has held the position for three years, is being challenged by Angela Nelson.

Polls will be open for local voting from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office. Absentee ballots also are available there.

At the annual Town Meeting on Saturday, voters are scheduled to deal with 33 warrant articles starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at Palermo Consolidated School, beginning with election of a seven-member Budget Committee.

A series of five articles embody some of the recommendations from the 2011 Compensation Committee, which reviewed Town Office personnel, policies and costs.

Voters will be asked:

* To authorize selectmen to develop and implement personnel policies for all elected officials and their deputies.

* To change the positions of tax collector, treasurer and town clerk from elective to appointive, and to authorize selectmen to make the appointments. If approved, the changes would take effect as each current elected official’s term ends.

* To authorize selectmen to set compensation rates for all town positions – elective, appointive, and filled by hiring – based on the budget approved at the annual Town Meeting.

A straw vote is proposed to see if meeting attendees want the Town Office open 24 hours a week instead of the current 16.

Selectmen recommend a total of $118,800 for municipal wages in 2012. The Budget Committee recommends $112,920.

The Budget Committee also recommends 12-month funding for three positions in the office and money only for January through June for the fourth position, a step toward the staff reduction recommended by the Compensation Committee.

The Compensation Committee recommended gradually reducing the staff from four people to two full-time people and one part-time person and capping pay at $60,000.

For 2011, almost $138,000 was appropriated for municipal wages. More than $131,000 was spent.

At a February candidates’ forum, all three candidates for selectman endorsed the goal of reducing office expenses. Mancini and Nelson said they would be willing to work more hours for less pay.

Voters also must decide whether to appropriate $100,000 from the town’s undesignated fund balance to reduce the 2012 tax rate, which the selectmen and the Budget Committee recommend.

A candidates’ forum revealed no major differences of opinion among candidates. For example, Brown, Harmon and Temple all want to improve communications in town, and all favor technology as the means to do so. Their suggestions included a better website, more online services, televised meetings and a list of residents who want to receive weekly email updates from the Town Office.


Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.