The coronavirus has created a new calendar for the 2020 election. First, the virus first postponed Boothbay’s annual referendum town meeting in May, and later, the state’s primary election in June. Both will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14. The virus has also caused a change of venue. State election guidelines require 13 voting booths for towns the size of Boothbay, and there isn’t enough social distancing available to vote in the municipal building. So the elections will take place in the old town hall at Boothbay Railway Village.
When voters enter the town hall Ephram Pinkham erected in 1847, they will consider a $2,201,045 municipal budget which reflects a 1.4% increase. Selectmen recommend approval of all 32 referendum warrant questions. The FY 21 budget requests $564,315 for general government, $509,362 for public safety, $779,570 for public works, $140,000 for capital improvements, $8,000 for general assistance, $142,097 for the service account, and $52,200 for insurance.
Residents will decide the following financial requests from non-profit groups: Boothbay Region Ambulance Service, $295,653; Boothbay Region Cemetery District, $19,000; Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, $55,500; Boothbay Harbor Fireworks Fund, $10,000; Boothbay Region Refuse Disposal District, $469,165; Boothbay Region Community Television, $30,000; Boothbay Region Historical Society, $2,000; Boothbay Region District Nursing Association, $12,908; Charles Sherman American Legion Post 36, $500; New Hope for Women, $1,500; Boothbay Region Community Resources, $6,000; The Community Center, $7,000; Boothbay Region Senior Citizens Club, Inc., $5,000; American Red Cross. $1,000; Boothbay Region Community Band, $1,000; The Harbor Theatre, $1,050; Spectrum Generations, $1,415; and Lifeflight Foundation, $780.
Boothbay is seeking voter authorization to raise and appropriate $140,000 and transfer $140,000 from the unassigned fund balance to implement a $280,000 capital improvement plan. Selectmen are also requesting voter authorization to transfer $85,000 from the unassigned fund balance to implement a light emitting diode street light replacement plan. Selectmen recommend $23,000 from the Commercial Development Omnibus Municipal Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program No. 3 for landscaping.
Selectmen are asking to carry forward any unspent funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the 2017 storm damage to Shore Road.
Residents will also elect several new municipal officers. Six offices, all three-year terms, will be on the local ballot. Three candidates are vying for two selectmen’s seats. Incumbent Mike Tomacelli is seeking re-election, but Kristina Ford isn’t. Tomacelli will be joined by former selectmen Steve Ham and Chuck Cunningham with the top two candidates earning seats. Three candidates are seeking the expiring Community School District superintending school committee seat being vacated by Kari Babcook who chose not to run for re-election. Steve Edwards, Abigail Jones and Kathleen Pearce are seeking election to the seat. No one took out papers for the CSD Board of Trustees seat. Incumbent Ashleeann Lowery decided against seeking another term. Boothbay Region Water District Trustee Kevin Anthony is running unopposed to keep his seat, and Sara Fahnley is running unopposed for BB-BBH Cemetery District Trustees.
Town officials are also accepting absentee ballots for both the municipal and state elections. Town Clerk Andrea Lowery has received 454 absentee ballots as of June 26. Residents can request an absentee ballot by calling or visiting the town office or online at maine.gov. Boothbay has 2,594 registered voters.