Bangor-area communities to hold budget referendums, local elections Tuesday

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted June 10, 2011, at 9:02 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine —  A requirement under the 2007 school consolidation law that calls for school departments statewide to hold annual budget referendum votes — unless residents vote to discontinue the validation votes — means that residents from all over the area will head to the polls on Tuesday.

Bangor, Brewer, the SAD 22 towns of Hampden, Newburgh and Winterport, the SAD 63 communities of Eddington, Clifton and Holden, the RSU 26 towns of Glenburn, Orono and Veazie, the RSU 34 communities of Old Town, Alton and Bradley, and others will cast thumbs-up or thumbs-down ballots on Tuesday on their school budgets.

“I hope they support their school budget,” Brewer Superintendent Daniel Lee said Friday, adding that with the proposed fiscal year 2011-12 budget, residents will pay around $125,000 less for education compared with this year.

Dedham is one local community that voted last year to discontinue the annual school budget validation referendums.

“They don’t have to” to hold one, said Lee, who also serves as superintendent for Dedham. “Bangor and Brewer [and others] do.”

Brewer residents were asked last year if they wanted to discontinue the validation votes, but residents decided to continue the referendums.

“If they say ‘no,’ you have to wait another three years” before asking again, Lee said. “It’s all part of the school consolidation law.”

The following are the school budget amounts that residents will vote on and the times when voting booths are open on Tuesday for communities listed above:

• Bangor — $41.6 million budget. 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Bangor Civic Center.

• Brewer — $19.6 million budget. 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Brewer Auditorium.

• SAD 22 — $25.5 million budget.  8 a.m.-8 p.m., town offices in Hampden, Newburgh and Winterport.

• SAD 63 — $8.99 million budget. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., town offices in Eddington and Clifton; and 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Holden.

• RSU 26 — $21.36 million budget. 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m., town offices in Glenburn; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Orono; 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Veazie.

• RSU 34 — $16.9 million budget. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., town offices of Alton and Bradley; 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Old Town.

Residents also can vote by absentee ballot on Monday by contacting their town or city hall.

Residents in Hampden, Holden and Glenburn also will pick local officials and decide on amendments on Tuesday.

Hampden residents will fill the seat left vacant by former Town Council Chairman Matt Arnett, who stepped down in March. Bernard Philbrick and Shelby Wright are running for the seat.

Holden residents have to select from a pool of five running for two Town Council seats and one SAD 63 board seat.

Incumbent Councilors Robert Harvey and Ralph McLeod are running against resident Kerry Zimmerman. Incumbent SAD 63 board member Donald Varnum is running against another incumbent, Karen Clark, who served on the school board for Eddington and had to resign her post when she moved.

Glenburn has two uncontested council and two RSU 26 seats up for grabs. Incumbents Richard Cookson and Michael O’Connor are running for their council seats and school board incumbent John Higgins and resident Susan O’Roak are running for the two RSU 26 seats. Residents also will vote on a land use amendment, a copy of which is available at the town office.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/06/10/news/bangor/bangor-area-communities-to-hold-budget-referendums-local-elections-tuesday/ printed on September 18, 2014