Boothbay Selectmen

Selectmen consider special town meeting for ordinance changes

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 9:30am

    With the annual town meeting less than two months away, efforts to change some of Boothbay's town ordinances are currently being sought. But with two petitions still circulating, and proposals being pursued by the planning board, a special town meeting is likely in order.

    On March 25, Boothbay Town Manager Jim Chaousis recommended that the selectmen finalize the warrant for the annual town meeting in order to meet the public notice requirements on time.

    Since January, the Boothbay Planning Board has been working on making changes to the town’s ordinances. Some of changes have been submitted, but had not been received by Town Attorney Sally Daggett as of March 25.

    Daggett must review the proposed language first before any changes can be included on the warrant and voted on at town meeting scheduled for May 6.

    “Ideally I would want to wait to include (the ordinance changes) into the annual town meeting warrant, but we don’t have it right now,” Chaousis said.

    In addition to the planning board changes, two petitions from Boothbay residents David Stimson and Judy Dorr were being circulated, but had not been returned yet as of Monday’s selectmen meeting.

    “My recommendation is that we just bite the bullet and expect to have a special town meeting pretty early in next year in order to vote on some of those ordinance changes,” Chaousis said. “I wouldn’t want to hold up the rest of our annual town meeting warrant, which is pretty important at this point in time.”

    Selectman Steven Lewis asked whether a special town meeting could be arranged on the same day as the annual town meeting. While Chaousis advised against having two separate voting forums on May 6, he acknowledged that a special town meeting doesn’t require as much preparation as the annual town meeting, and could realistically be set up within a matter of weeks.

    “I think the townspeople would give us the extra time to make sure that what we’re presenting to them is what we want to present to them, and if we can do it all one meeting, they would be more than happy to take care of it in one meeting rather than have to come out a second night to deal with it,” Cunningham said.

    Lewis agreed the voting turnout for town meeting is typically higher than a special town meeting where voters typically carry vested interests.

    With a deadline quickly approaching, the selectmen agreed to they would finalize the warrant articles and have Chaousis and Daggett look into options for setting up a special town meeting to vote on specific ordinance changes.