FORT KENT, Maine — Madawaska police Chief Carroll Theriault received the most votes at the polls this week, easily winning a seat on the Fort Kent Town Council.
A total of 241 residents voted to elect two new council members and a new school board member during elections Monday at the Fort Kent Municipal Building. Theriault picked up the most votes with 164.
Joey Ouellette brought in 147 votes, defeating two-term councilwoman Priscilla Staples, who received 119 votes, for the second available seat.
Fort Kent residents also filled two open seats on the Maine School Administrative District 27 school board, re-electing Chairman Barry Ouellette with 134 votes. Newcomer Toby Jandreau won the second available seat with 121 votes. Longtime school board member Danny Nicolas fell short in his re-election bid with 100 votes.
About 40 voters braved slush-covered roads later Monday evening to attend the annual town meeting at Fort Kent Community High School, where they approved the council’s $5,886,925 budget proposal. The town budget should result in a slight decrease in the property tax rate provided the SAD 27 budget does not increase for the 2016-2017 school year.
Residents in attendance overwhelmingly approved by a show of hands each of the 55 articles proposed by the council.
The voters also approved a new zoning ordinance that will allow homeowners to keep up to six chickens in town, provided the chickens are not for commercial use.
“Chickens only, no roosters,” Town Manager Don Guimond stressed. “Roosters are likely to be noisy.”
In its first official meeting after the annual town meeting, the new Town Council unanimously voted to select Dan Marquis as chairman.
Theriault, who said he is planning to retire this year from the Madawaska Police Department, thanked the voters for their support.
“I’m happy to be able to serve the Town Council and the community,” he said.
Ouellette said that since he moved back to Fort Kent eight years ago, he has desired to improve the circumstances of his hometown.
“There are a lot of changes that will need to made in order for our town to move forward. I’m excited to work with our town and like-minded individuals who want to work together to move this town forward.”
The next regular meeting of the Fort Kent Town Council is scheduled for Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at the Fort Kent Municipal Building.