Vienna residents will vote on town officers, ordinance changes and town spending this week as part of Town Meeting,

The election is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Community Room at the Vienna Community Center, Kimball Pond Road, with the public portion of the meeting beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at the same location.

The posts of first and third selectman are being contested this year.

First Selectwoman Dodi Thompson is being challenged by Charles Yates for a three-year term. Second Selectman Chris Smith has no opposition on the ballot for a two-year term. Third Selectman Jeffrey Rackliff, who works for Hammond Lumber in Farmington, is seeking re-election to a one-year term and is being challenged by Crystal Whitter. Rackliff, 42, is seeking his fourth term as selectman and is a member of the Vienna fire department.

Voters last year agreed to convert the posts of selectmen to staggered, three-year terms.

Thompson, 73, works part-time as a bookkeeper, has been a selectwoman in town for about 20 years, spends a lot of time on town business and is vice president of the Vienna Union Hall Committee.

“I know the job and I take the job seriously,” Thompson said. “When things are going well, I really like it.”

Yates, 52, moved to Vienna in 1975 and has lived in town since then except for the years when he was in the military. He spent 20 years in the telecommunications industry and prior to that worked in the paper industry.

Yates said he favors returning the selectmen’s posts to one-year positions and wants to impose a wage freeze.

“I think there’s a lot of things done wrong, and they could be done better.”

Yates said he was inspired to propose the changes after the town brought a building ordinance violation complaint against the owner of the property where he lives. Yates said he had to make several requests to get the proposed ordinance changes listed on the secret ballot so that more people would be able to vote on them.

Whittier, 39, was born and raised in Readfield and moved to Vienna about 13 years ago. She works in home health care, and this is her first stab at public office.

She said she decided to run while she was collecting signatures for the citizen’s petition about the proposed building ordinance changes.

“I just decided there needs to be changes in town. Everywhere we went, people feel it’s time for change,” Whittier said Tuesday. “I just feel there’s a lack of communication about everything in town, and that’s not right.”

There are three questions to be considered on the secret ballot.

Two involve changes proposed by the Ordinance Review Committee, and the third is a result of a citizen’s petition and also involves the Building Ordinance. All the proposed changes are listed on the town’s website at viennamaine.org/node/463.

Yates and Whittier gathered signatures to get a citizens’ initiative on the ballot. If voters approve question 3, they would change portions of the town’s Building Ordinance, which was adopted a year ago at Town Meeting, and impose a uniform $10 residential building permit fee.

The Building Ordinance includes definitions and setbacks and sets building permit fees, depending on the size of the building.

While no one is listed on the ballot to represent Vienna on the board of directors for Mount Blue Regional School District, Gordon Webber is running as a write-in candidate for the three-year term.

Webber, 72, said he’s become involved with the schools now that he and his wife are raising two elementary school-age children and attended some school board meetings, and several people asked him to run.

“Somebody’s got to stand up and take notice,” he said Monday. “I’d like to make a difference.”

Webber said he is a veteran who is retired after a career as a bricklayer.

Vienna has a population of 573, according to the most recent census. The town’s operating budget would be $553,811 if everything on the warrant passes. Thompson said that is up about $7,000 partly because of an increase in the winter roads budget and because the Fire Department has requested $5,000 for Vienna’s share of upgrading the Lakes Region Mutual Aid radio communication system.

According to the 2016 annual report, the town spent $1.38 million that year, which included $755,305 for education, as well as money for the county tax.

Other incumbents are unchallenged as they seek re-election to one-year posts. They are Annie Tibbetts, who is running for both town clerk and tax collector; Martha Gross, treasurer; and Daniel Goucher, road commissioner.

Residents at Town Meeting also will consider an article that would convert the town clerk, tax collector, treasurer and road commissioner posts into three-year positions.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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