CHELSEA — Residents can ask questions and voice their opinions about the proposed charter and proposed ordinance amendments Wednesday night.

The public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Chelsea Elementary School prior to the regular Board of Selectmen’s meeting.

Voters overwhelmingly supported establishing a charter commission in November 2011 following the turmoil caused by former Selectwoman Carole Swan’s arrest that February on fraud charges.

The charter commission drafted the roughly 30-page document over the last year and issued its final report in April.

The charter outlines the town’s governing structure and provides guidelines for how to conduct business.

The town hosted two previous public hearings on the draft of the charter before the commission issued its final report.

The commission members made several minor changes following the public meetings, including clarifying that the minutes taken by boards and committees must include summaries of all motions, proposals and resolutions proposed or considered.

The proposed ordinance amendments also open for discussion at the Wednesday public hearing include changes to the minimum lot size and subdivision ordinances.

The minimum lot size amendments would establish penalties and an appeals process, and would grandfather lots that have been reduced to less than the 2-acre minimum as a result of the owners forfeiting land for public benefit.

The subdivision ordinance change outlines an open space option for subdivisions.

Secret-ballot voting that includes the ordinance changes and charter will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 11 at Chelsea Elementary School.

The open Town Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. June 13 at the school.

Most of the articles in the proposed charter are consistent with the town’s current practices, according to the commission’s report.

Some changes include requiring at least 25 write-in votes for a candidate to be elected, and revisions to the structures of some boards and committees.

The proposed charter eliminates alternative positions on boards and committees to fully utilize those elected or appointed.

Residents will vote on the $917,591 municipal budget proposed for next year at the June 13 Town Meeting.

The selectmen are recommending spending about $2,000 more next year than what is in this year’s budget, and the Budget Committee recommends cutting almost $50,000 from the municipal budget.

Copies of the proposed charter and amendment ordinances can be found on the town’s website at chelseamaine.org.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663
[email protected]

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