Brewer says no to putting cost-savings effort on ballot

Posted Aug. 15, 2009, at 4:33 p.m.

BREWER, maine — Three City Councilors out of five are opposed to creating an advisory committee with Bangor that would identify ways to save $1.5 million annually through mutual cooperation, and their votes have been enough to defeated the measure.

The group in opposition of the measure, which includes councilors Larry Doughty, Gail Kelly and Manley DeBeck, voted on Tuesday to throw out an order that would put the decision in the hands of residents.

“We don’t need this,” Kelly said on Saturday. “How do you take a city of 35,000, that’s an entitlement city, and a little city of 8,900 and come up with those savings.”

Councilors Joseph Ferris, who first proposed the measure in April, and Mayor Arthur “Archie” Verow, who has supported it, have decided to circumvent the council. The two have started a citizen’s petition that would override the council’s recent decision and put the item on the Nov. 3 ballot, Ferris said.

“This is something worth looking into,” he said on Saturday.

A total of 400 registered voters need to sign the petition by mid-September to get the question on the ballot this fall.

The ballot question would ask residents to approve creating wording for an advisory committee, which both City Councils would have to approve, “to make recommendation to the city councils of Bangor and Brewer identifying how both cities can work together to achieve savings and efficiencies in the operation of and services provided by them to their respective communities,” Ferris said.

A press conference is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 18, at City Hall to announce the petition drive.

nricker@bangordailynews.net

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