HERMON, Maine — With local elections Tuesday and the annual town meeting looming, the community debate over budgetary and other matters continues to simmer.
In the election for two town council seats, incumbent Councilor Anne Freeman is facing a challenge from former council members Donald Pelletier and Anthony Reynolds, who last week sent out a mass mailing critical of recent town spending decisions and asking voters to reject two of the articles on Thursday’s town meeting warrant.
Town councilors, who were blindsided by the claims, called a special meeting this past Friday to rebut dollar figures and statements made by Reynolds and Pelletier, who were not in attendance.
After three hours of discussion and debate, councilors decided to issue a mailing of their own. That flier, paid for with private funds, was mailed on Monday.
The controversy generated by the budget mailing has prompted another former council member to throw his hat into the ring.
Alden Brown, who served two consecutive terms that ran through 2009, confirmed over the weekend that he has launched a write-in campaign. He said Monday that the group of residents who persuaded him to run is helping spread the word with signs and through social media.
Brown completed a career with the U.S. Air Force and now works for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
On Monday, Reynolds said he and Pelletier thought the council should have contacted them about the mailer before discussing it during Friday’s special meeting and should have made more of an effort to address the issues with them.
Council Chairwoman Sharon Nickerson said Monday that the meeting was well publicized and that both candidates were aware it was taking place.