PALERMO — Voters will head to the polls today to choose a member of the Board of Selectmen and decide whether to authorize spending $15,000 to pay for costs associated with withdrawal from Regional School Unit 12.

Then on Saturday, it’s the annual Town Meeting.

In the selectmen’s race, Paul Cowing, 59, a self-employed builder, is seeking a third term against Cheryl York, 45, business manager at Erskine Academy, who is making her first run for office.

Cowing, who has lived in town for 40 years, said he’d like to stay involved in town government.

“My part in the selectman’s office is the roads,” he said. “We’ve done a lot with the roads. There’s no end to it.”

York, a Palermo native who moved back to town 12 years ago, said she has no agenda.

“I wanted to give back to the community,” she said. “I think our town is in good shape.”

Board Chairman Dean Potter said voters also will decide Friday whether to authorize the town to spend $15,000 on legal and other costs associated with the withdrawal from RSU 12, which consists of the towns of Alna, Chelsea, Palermo, Somerville, Westport Island, Whitefield, Windsor and Wiscasset.

In December, Palermo voters approved a ballot question to begin the withdrawal, joining Wiscasset and Westport Island, which already had begun the process.

The election is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today at the Town Office.

On Saturday, selectmen will present 35 articles for approval that include several municipal budget items. The proposed budget is about $448,000, which is down from the current budget of $528,079. Potter said the selectmen are recommending spending less on road work and want permission to take $50,000 from the surplus to try to keep the tax rate down.

Voters will consider the school budget at another time, which is likely to include an increase, he said. The new tax rate won’t be set until late June or early July.

Among the town budget items, there are also requests to spend:

* $6,000 for the Palermo School’s eighth-grade trip

* $7,000 for cemetery maintenance

* $53,000 for public health and safety; and

* $300,000 for road maintenance, plowing and sanding, and other improvements.

Susan Cover — 621-5643
[email protected]

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