Charter change fails to get needed number of votes in Hermon

Posted July 03, 2012, at 11:18 p.m.

HERMON, Maine — Although a series of proposed amendments to the town charter were approved by a majority of the town’s voters last month, the total number of votes cast fell short of the number needed for the changes to be enacted.

The minimum number of votes cast to pass the amendments was 714 — or 30 percent of the total number of voters who participated in the last gubernatorial election, Interim Town Clerk Ruthann Dyer said Tuesday. Only 703 residents voted, 11 fewer than the cutoff, she said.

Dyer said that the plan now is to put the amendments back before voters in November, when a large turnout is expected because of the presidential election, among other things.

The amendments originally went before voters in a townwide referendum on June 12.

The last time the town charter was updated was in November 2009, according to the version posted on the town’s website.

Former Town Manager Clinton Deschene, who began his new job as Auburn’s city manager last month, said in a recent interview that the proposed amendments were the product of more than a year’s work by a committee made up of town officials and residents.

The changes involve several aspects of local government ranging from the Town Council and its operations to the way town meetings and elections are run.

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