Berwick voters pass budgets, elect leaders

Posted May 15, 2014, at 7:06 a.m.

BERWICK, Maine — Voters on Tuesday passed all 25 articles on the Town Meeting secret ballot and elected new selectmen and school board members.

Mark Pendergast and Thomas Wright were elected to serve three-year terms on the Board of Selectmen. Pendergast and Wright ran unopposed for the seats. They replace Bart Haley and Eleanor Murphy, who did not seek re-election.

Samantha Grace, who was appointed last year to fill a school board vacancy, was elected to serve the remaining two years of the seat. She ran unopposed.

Ryan McCabe received 19 of 59 write-in votes to win a three-year term on the school board. There were no declared candidates in the race.

The second night of town meeting was scheduled for Wednesday night at the Town Hall, where voters were expected to decide articles 28-44. Funding for the police and fire departments were among the 25 articles that passed by a wide margin Tuesday. The police budget was set at $1.47 million, while voters authorized $569,000 for the fire department, $431,000 for trash disposal and $649,000 for public works.

The combined $5.06 million town budget for 2014-15 is $286,000 less than the current budget, which runs through June 30.

Voters also approved a $10,000 contribution to Great Works Regional Land Trust to offset acquisition costs for a 29-acre parcel near Tuckahoe Turf Farm. The land trust plans to build walking trails on the land within a year or so.

Turnout was about average for a municipal election. Town Clerk Jo Anne Lepley said 459 residents cast ballots Tuesday out of 5,451 registered voters.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

 

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