Boothbay Harbor elections, town meeting June 19, 20

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 7:15am

    Boothbay Harbor will hold its annual elections from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 19 and town meeting at 9 a.m. June 20. Both were scheduled for May 1 and 2, but were postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

    Voters will choose a moderator for the town meeting – Article 1 on the warrant – and seven three-year terms, Article 2, by secret ballot: two selectmen, one Boothbay Region Water District trustee, one Boothbay Harbor Sewer District trustee, one Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Cemetery District trustee, one BB-BBH Community School District School Committee member and one BB-BBH CSD trustee. The respective incumbents are Denise Griffin and Tricia Warren, David Tibbetts, Sam Morris, Ralph Welch, Larry Colcord and Richard Hallinan. Ruth Macy and Tom Minerich are vying for Colcord’s seat as he has decided not to seek reelection. Hallinan is also not running; residents Ruth Macy and Tom Minerich are running for the CSD School Committee seat  and no one took out nomination papers for the CSD trustee seat. Hallinan has said he would be open to another term if written in.

    Town Clerk Michelle Farnham said voters will line up June 19 outside the town office, spaced six feet apart, and will be required to wear masks while in the municipal building. Only eight voters will be allowed inside at a time.

    Absentee ballots are available up until voting day, but voters need to account for the time it takes to receive, fill out and mail a ballot for it to be counted, said Farnham. Ballots can be picked up at the town office, and must be mailed in with few exceptions. Farnham explained she has accepted ballots in person at the town office under extenuating circumstances.

    June 20 annual town meeting

    Boothbay Harbor voters will meet in the Boothbay Region High School gymnasium to weigh a 2.3% budget increase from $4,721,679 in 2019 to $4,830,218 this year.

    Articles 19-23 will change town ordinances: Article 19 amends the Land Use Code to clarify that the 200 feet of waterfront reserved as open space in subdivisions is measured along the waterfront. Article 20 defines mobile food vending and limits the use to the downtown business and general business districts; Article 21 raises the minimum expenditure needed for sealed bids from $5,000 to $10,000 for town contracts and purchases. Article 22 amends the definitions of “mooring” and “float” and sets standards for maintenance of and safety guidelines for marine apparatuses. and Article 23 enacts Chapter 77, establishing blasting notification standards.

    The municipal accounts are up 2.4%; street lights, hydrants, Boothbay Region Refuse Disposal District and Bayville/Isle of Springs accounts are up 7%; and the support organizations’ accounts are proposed to go from $160,109 to $476,042 due to the inclusion of the Ambulance Service account, up 9% from $295,795 to $325,538. The BB-BBH Cemetery District is asking for a $1,000 increase to $16,000; Boothbay Region Health and Wellness Foundation, a $500 increase to $4,000; Harbor Lights Festival, a $500 increase to $3,500; Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, a $1,500 increase to $55,000; New Hope for Women, a $57 decrease to $1,155; Summer band concerts, a $200 increase to $1,200; and the district nurse, a $752 increase to $25,818.

    Town Manager Julia Latter said town office staff can access the gym after the BRHS graduation ceremony and plan a safe method and layout for health standards including wearing masks, six feet social distancing and a maximum number of 50 people in the gym. Select board Chair Mike Tomko said the annual meeting will be livestreamed via Facebook and Boothbay Region TV. He said the meeting will likely be accessible via Zoom, but there is no plan as of yet for any remote voting on the warrant since it will be a physical gathering.