NEWBURGH, Maine — An event at which townspeople will have an opportunity to learn more about five candidates for the Board of Selectmen is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the former Newburgh Elementary School, which is now home to the town office.
Monday night’s event will feature a question-and-answer portion as well as an opportunity for the candidates to voice their opinions on what direction the town should move in the wake of months of controversy.
The former Board of Selectmen has been at odds with some townspeople for more than a year since former Deputy Treasurer Cindy Dunton was fired for embezzling nearly $200,000 in taxpayer funds. Dunton, who has admitted to the crime in writing, has not been convicted. She entered no plea to the charge of Class B theft by unauthorized taking during her initial court appearance in January. Dunton’s next court appearance is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. April 11 at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, according to a Superior Court clerk.
That issue and others have spurred acrimony between selectmen and a group of people known in town as The Fixers. In March, Mike Burns, who is a member of that group, defeated Stanley Smith for a seat on the board. A week later, the two other board members, Leonard Belcher and Leona Smith, resigned their positions, citing their unwillingness to continue their posts under constant criticism.
Until the board is filled, the town’s ability to conduct business is hampered, though emergency provisions have been put in place to continue payroll functions and some paying of bills.
The five candidates on the ballot are Steve Burgess and Cindy Prescott for a two-year post, and Charles Gibbs, Jeff Watson and Craig Toothaker for a one-year seat. The election is scheduled for April 13, when the polls at the town office will be open from 2 to 7 p.m.