AUGUSTA — Jennifer Dumond was elected to the school board, and voters approved the school budget and six of seven proposed city charter changes during Tuesday’s election.

Residents rejected a proposed charter change that would have increased from $750,000 to $1 million the amount of money the city can borrow without seeking voter approval.

Voters approved the other six proposed changes to the city charter, including one change that would eliminate the requirement a charter review commission be formed every 10 years.

Many of the proposed charter changes were fairly technical in nature with one, for example, changing the day of the first City Council meeting of the year to Thursday, when the council normally meets, instead of the current Monday.

The change that prompted the most debate would replace a current charter requirement that a charter commission be formed every 10 years to review the charter and consider changes with a requirement, instead, that city councilors simply consider forming a charter commission for that purpose.

The charter is the city’s main guiding document, specifying the structure of city government and how it functions.


The full text of the charter changes is viewable on the city clerk’s website.

The referendum process to change the charter is complicated by state law, which makes any changes to a municipality’s charter subject to approval by voters in a referendum in which at least 30 percent of the number of voters in the last gubernatorial election turn out to vote.

According to secretary of state data, in the last gubernatorial election, in 2014, 7,846 Augusta residents voted, but 101 of them didn’t pick a candidate for governor on their ballots. That would mean the charter questions needed to be voted upon by at least 2,324 residents for the proposed changes to be valid.

Augusta cleared that hurdle, with 3,239 voters casting ballots on the charter questions.

Jennifer Dumond, with 1,721 votes, defeated Kevin Lamoreau, with 1,040 votes, to be elected to fill out the remainder of an at-large Augusta Board of Education term.

The seat was left vacant when the previous holder of the spot, Edward Hastings, was elected board chairman.


Both Dumond and Lamoreau are relative newcomers to city politics, neither having held office. Lamoreau ran unsuccessfully as a write-in candidate for a different spot on the school board last year.

Dumond, 47, co-owner of Kennebec Chocolates in Augusta, said issues she sees as important for the school system include getting and keeping good teachers, school safety and continuing to provide students with multiple options for potential careers or higher education after they graduate.

Dumond has three children — one who graduated from Cony High School, one who attends a district elementary school and one who attends a private Christian school.

The victor in the Tuesday election will serve the remainder of Hastings’ unexpired term, until Dec. 31, 2019, according to City Clerk Roberta Fogg.

Augusta residents also approved a roughly $30.5 million school budget Tuesday, by a vote of 2,261-758, according to unofficial totals.

The school board approved a $30.8 million budget in March, but since then city councilors, who determine the final proposed school budget amount, cut $300,000 from that proposed budget before approving it as part of the combined $62.7 million city and school budget.


The $300,000 school budget cut was part of a series of proposed changes to City Manager William Bridgeo’s initial $63 million budget proposal, and is it expected to bring the tax increase required to fund the budget down from the previous 6.6 percent to just under 3 percent.

The Augusta Board of Education is scheduled to consider approving the same budget approved by voters Tuesday, at the board’s 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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