May 26, 2018
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Hermon rejects center, charter amendment

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

HERMON, Maine — The nays had it.

Residents voted in large numbers Tuesday not to amend the town charter to allow them to fire the town manager themselves and not to build a pricey new community center.

According to Tuesday night’s unofficial local tallies, residents voted 2,113-789 not to amend the charter and 1,422-912 not to build the $6.5 million community center.

Town officials wanted to have the largest, most representative turnout to decide the community center question. The proposed center had some strong support from those who thought it would be a boon for the town, but not enough to counter the votes of residents who felt it was just too expensive in this economic climate.

Town Manager Clint Deschene had said the project, if passed, might increase tax-payers’ bills 5 percent to 12 percent in the project’s first year.

Regarding the controversial charter amendment, the town’s attorney had advised councilors last fall not to put it out to a public vote, even though residents had led a successful petition drive to do so.

But a Penobscot County Superior Court justice recently ruled that the charter amendment could make it to the ballot. The town was challenging the decision but dropped its appeal in early October.

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