UNION, Maine — By four votes out of more than 1,300 cast, residents opted to retain an elected treasurer’s position.
Selectmen had placed the referendum question on the ballot, saying the proposed change would provide accountability.
But residents voted 669 to 665 to reject the proposal to make the elected treasurer position one that would be appointed by selectmen.
Linda McAllister has held the post for 25 years. She had been elected to another one-year term during municipal elections in June and her term continues through June 2013.
McAllister is being paid $37,822 for the current budget year as approved by voters in June. The town also provides a 3 percent retirement match and pays $9,200 for health insurance.
The most recent management letter from an audit was issued in April.
Selectmen who supported the change said that the recent audit showed significant deficiencies.
The auditor — certified public accountant Ron Smith — stated in his report that the deficiencies included commingling general fund accounts with special fund accounts and failure to reconcile the general ledger.
“It appears that this was caused by lack of time and attention paid to these reconciliations and disagreements internally amongst management on how to account for town business, including transfers,” the auditor stated.
Selectwoman Sara Moore, who voted against holding a referendum, said last month that it boiled down to a personality conflict. She also said that she did not support taking away more authority from the public and handing it to other town officials.
Town Manager Jay Feyler said a recount could only be held if a petition signed by 100 residents is turned into the town by Nov. 14.