Residents of the Somerset County town of Harmony vote for town officials the old fashion way — publicly from the floor of the annual Town Meeting.

That process, which has been replaced widely over the years by what is called the Australian ballot, or voting by paper ballot in the secrecy of the voting booth, will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Harmony school, opposite the town fairgrounds.

After choosing a moderator Saturday morning, residents will discuss the rate of pay for the coming year for each of the dozen or more elected town officials, including a three-member Board of Selectmen. This year the Harmony Select Board and Budget Committee recommend $35,500, the same as last year.

Voting for town officers will follow, including choosing one member of the Board of Selectmen for a term to expire in 2021. The current selectman up for re-election is Chester “Chet” DeCoff, who said by phone Wednesday that he would not be running for re-election.

Harmony residents will vote for a total of 17 officials from the floor of the meeting, including town clerk, tax collector, road commissioner and members of the planning board, appeals board and budget committee.

Residents then will delve into the annual business meeting, seeing how much money to raise for the Harmony Volunteer Fire Department, training for fire and ambulance personnel and money for operation and maintenance of the ambulance for the Harmony Regional Ambulance Service.


In Article 10, residents will be asked to raise money for road improvements. The road commissioner and Transportation Committee recommend $7,000. The Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend zero dollars.

All of the boards and committee members recommend raising $75,000 for the future paving of South Road, $60,000 for summer roads and $120,000 for winter roads.

Also for town roads, residents will be asked to raise $5,000 for road equipment and $15,000 for a new snow plow.

The next two articles will deal with the closed former Creative Apparel building, which is owned by the town of Harmony. The company, which made protective closing for the military, closed a few years ago with a loss of jobs and related community investment.

Residents first will be asked to raise $6,500 for the upkeep of the building and then to re-establish a Creative Apparel building committee. The nine-member committee, including selectmen, would be authorized to negotiate and accept a reasonable offer for the sale of the building.

The town meeting also will ask residents if they want to establish a Policy Committee to oversee hiring procedures, accident reporting, payroll and bids and to reduce the number of School Committee members from the current seven to five.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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