Budget controversy on Knox County agenda

Posted Feb. 13, 2012, at 4:02 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2012, at 5:36 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — At their next meeting, county commissioners will face the issue of whether the Knox County budget for 2012 was adopted legally.

The item was placed on the Tuesday, Feb. 14, meeting agenda at the request of Union Selectman Greg Grotton who has challenged the validity of the budget passage in December. He argued that the county failed to meet the county charter in terms of adequate public notice and by allowing one of the budget committee members to vote by conference call.

Commissioner Chairman Roger Moody said he wasn’t certain what the commissioners would do at the meeting on the subject. He said the county has asked its attorney to review the questions raised and to issue opinions. That advice may not be given until next week, he said.

Grotton is one of several municipal officials challenging the budget approval.

The selectmen in Thomaston sent the county a letter Feb. 4.

“You did not give sufficient notice to the public of the annual Knox County Budget meeting. The notice you gave does not comply with your County Charter and violates the Freedom of Access Law,” stated attorney Paul Gibbons who represents the town of Thomaston. “As a result you must call for a new budget committee meeting which must comply with the public notice requirements of the Knox County Charter.”

Selectmen in St. George also sent a letter, questioning whether the budget was approved legally.

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