June 18, 2018
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Trenton voters reject recall ordinance

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff


TRENTON, Maine —- Local voters decided Saturday not to adopt a recall ordinance for elected officials but did approve grammar school and municipal budgets with a combined total of $3.35 million.

At the open session Saturday of Trenton’s annual town meeting, voters approved a 2011-12 grammar school budget of $2.9 million and a corresponding municipal budget of nearly $450,000. The proposed education budget was reduced by amendment by $36,000 at the meeting because new projections are lower than they were when the town meeting warrant was drawn up.

The approved 2011-12 municipal budget includes $3,050 for the town’s share of the Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Conservation Program.

Trenton Town Clerk Rachel Hyland said there was some discussion during Saturday’s meeting about Trenton’s participation in the shellfish conservation program, which was established last July 1, but voters decided in the end to raise $3,050 for the town’s share of the program’s annual operations budget. The shellfish district also includes Ellsworth, Franklin, Hancock, Lamoine, Sorrento and Sullivan.

The combined $3.35 million grammar school and municipal budgets are about $180,000 higher than the current year budgets, but local property taxes are projected to increase only slightly, Hyland said earlier this week. The current tax rate of $11.50 for each $1,000 of a property’s value is expected to go up by only 10 cents to $11.60, she said.

By voice votes, local residents rejected a proposal that would have established a recall ordinance for elected officials and another that would have established new noise ordinance rules for the town. A proposal to establish local rules for producing and preparing food was adopted by a narrow margin in a hand vote 29 to 25.

Saturday’s session followed local elections, which were held Friday. Fred Ehrlenbach received 110 votes, winning a selectman’s seat being vacated by Julee Swanson, while incumbent Michael Hodgkins was re-elected to the board with 124 votes. Falling short in their selectman bids were Richard Vander Zanden, who received 82 votes, and Ronald Marshall, who received 55.

There were no declared candidates in the school board race, which was decided by one vote. Jennifer Bonilla received 23 write-in votes while Amanda Corson received 22.

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