CORINNA, Maine — A surplus of nearly $1 million in the town’s coffers will help keep the property tax rate from changing if residents approve the Board of Selectmen’s budget recommendations at Saturday’s annual town meeting, according to Town Manager Dalton Mullis.
Voters also will decide whether to change the town’s form of government in response to a 90-signature petition, but most of the questions on the warrant are related to the budget.
According to Mullis, year-end fund balances totaled more than $230,000 in 2010, putting the overall surplus at $974,861. Mullis and selectmen propose using $75,000 of that money to keep the property tax rate at $17 per $1,000 of property value while maintaining the status quo.
“We’re going to be on cruise control,” he said.
The majority of the fund balance will come into play in the next few years as the town pays down debt associated with road projects.
“We’ve been saving for those expenses,” said Mullis.
The last question on the town meeting warrant, Article 40, would change the town’s form of government from the current town manager-led system to having an administrative assistant instead. The question resulted from a recent petition circulated by Darlene Bagley, Gary M. Dumoulin, Victor R. Wade, Patricia Wade and Jacqueline A. Emerson, which was signed by approximately 90 Corinna residents. Bagley said the motivation behind her involvement was to unseat Mullis.
“We’re kind of tired of the way the town manager is running the town,” she said. “He does a lot of things on his own and then goes to selectmen afterwards.”
Bagley’s complaints range from personnel decisions directed by Mullis to the way he handles town finances.
Mullis declined to discuss Bagley’s charges in detail, partially because of legalities associated with the personnel decisions.
“I’m sorry she has those concerns about me, but I think our record and financial statements speak for themselves,” said Mullis.
Saturday’s town meeting begins at 10 a.m. in the Corinna School Gymnasium. From 9:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Fire Annex, voters will decide on municipal elections that will bring at least two new faces to the Board of Selectmen. Chairman Roger Whitney and Robert Veazie have chosen not to seek re-election. Five candidates are vying for the two seats: Corinna Caron, Irving King, Angelica “Angel” Quick, Richard Otis and Dennis Woodard.
Also on the ballot are two single-candidate races. Rebekah Troyer seeks another three-year term on the Regional School Unit 19 board. Whitney, who resigned from the Board of Selectmen, is the only person vying for a one-year appointment to the RSU 19 board.