May 21, 2018
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Bucksport voters to consider town charter changes

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Voters will be asked to approve changes to the town charter when they go to the polls next week.

The proposed changes are included in one referendum question on the ballot for the Nov. 2 election.

The question would repeal the section in the charter regarding the town’s department of education. That section is no longer necessary because the town’s residents voted to join Regional School Unit 25, according to Town Manager Roger Raymond.

“That section of the charter included how the school budget would be developed, approved and expended,” Raymond said Monday. “That’s no longer the responsibility of the school department since it has been transferred to the RSU.”

Other proposed changes focus on the term, removal and annual evaluation of the town manager.

Raymond, who has indicated that he plans to retire soon, said that town councilors decided with that change coming, it was a good time to review and spell out conditions of employment for the post. Specifically, the changes include setting a definite length of time for a town manager contract.

“Until now, including my administration, the town manager has been hired on an indefinite basis,” Raymond said. “The council has always had the authority to set the pay for the town manager; this would allow them to sign a contract for a set period of time.”

The changes also call for an annual evaluation of the town manager and changes in the language to make it gender-neutral.

There are no contested races for municipal or school officers this year. Incumbents Robert Howard and David Keene are unopposed for re-election to the council. Scott Frazier is the lone candidate on the ballot for a seat on the RSU 25 school committee. He would replace school committee chairman Paul Bissonnette who chose not to seek re-election.

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