Voters in Athens Town Meeting elections on Friday will be asked to switch the town’s first selectman and the town’s third selectman, but it will take a special town meeting or June mid-term elections to complete the swap.

Guy Anton, 57, was the incumbent third selectman in 2014 when he was elected first selectman, defeating former board member Brenda Avery for a two-year term.

A special election was called that year to fill the open third selectman’s seat. Marc Munn, a truck driver for Oakhurst Dairy, was elected to fill that seat.

Now Anton, a farmer, Athens school bus driver, volunteer history teacher and president of the Athens Historical Society, wants to switch with Munn, whose name is on the ballot unopposed for a two-year term as first selectman. Anton said he will take over the position of third selectman, but a special town vote is needed because this year’s ballot is already printed and an official document.

Anton has been a member of the Athens Board of Selectmen since 1999. He said his other jobs make the work of first selectman too much. Munn, 60, who is partially retired, said he has the time and the skills to get the job done.

Polls are open for elections 4-8 p.m. Friday at the Athens Somerset Academy on Academy Street. Also on the ballot Friday is Dwight Weese for road commissioner, Donna Courtemanche for treasurer and Alan Linkletter and Gene Hay for the Athens school board. All races are uncontested.

The annual town business meeting with the 23-article town warrant is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, also at the academy.

Anton said if all of the spending articles are passed as written Saturday, the municipal budget for the coming year will come in at $457,000, or $10,802 more than last year’s budget. The tax rate for Athens stands at $19.50 for every $1,000 in property valuation.

Some of the increases in municipal spending this year are seen in raises in salary for municipal officials, according to Anton. Salary for the first selectman is proposed to go up from $12,000 annually to $16,000, while the second and third selectmen, the tax collector and town treasurer’s salaries are proposed to go up by $1,000 each per year to $5,500 for each post.

The salary for the town clerk also is proposed to increase by $500 to $4,000. Voters also will be asked to increase the term of the Athens road commissioner from one year to two years.

Anton said it has been nine years since any of the town officials had a raise.

In other voting Saturday, voters will be asked to raise and appropriate $176,500 for townwide road maintenance, including $61,500 for summer roads and $45,000 for winter roads. The town Budget Committee also is recommending to spend up to $50,000 for the possible purchase of a used plow truck and up to $30,000 for a new truck body. The committee is suggesting taking $62,000 from savings accounts and $18,000 from excise taxes.

In Article 19, Athens voters will be asked to borrow $350,000 and take $105,000 from the existing paving account to repave a section of Dore Hill Road ($120,000) and Chapman Ridge Road ($300,000). Total spending, with side work preparation, culverts and repairs would come in at $450,000.

“This could be a seven- or a ten-year note, however we want to put this out,” Anton said of the borrowing. “Oil prices are low and interest rates are down.”

Residents also will be asked to raise $50,000 for the road paving account in a subsection to the article.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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