August 20, 2019
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Cary Plantation residents again vote to move forward with deorganization attempt

Kathleen Osler | BDN
Kathleen Osler | BDN
Dorothy Suitter, 94, (left) the oldest resident of Cary, votes during an election on Sept. 28 to determine whether to deorganize the community. The vote was approved. Diane Emery, ballot clerk, looks on as Suitter deposits her ballot.

CARY, Maine — In a landslide victory for supporters, Cary Plantation voters on Thursday evening overwhelmingly opted to move forward with a process to deorganize the community.

Town Clerk Kathleen Osler said that residents voted 85-6 in favor of the move.

“We had a really good voter turnout for our small community,” she said on Thursday evening. The town has 218 residents, according to the 2010 census, but town officials have disputed the figure, saying that in reality it has less than 200.

Of the 42 towns that have deorganized in the last century, few had more than 100 residents at the time. At least two exceptions were Benedicta in 1987 and Madrid in 2000.

The move by the community was not unexpected, as voters vowed to try the process again after a failed attempt at deorganizing last year.

Kai Libby, first assessor of the Board of Selectmen, said last month that a state official contacted him in January and asked if the town was going to follow through with its plan to try again. Until that moment, he said, nobody in Cary “had really given it much thought.”

Residents in May then voted to send the same deorganization proposal to the state as they had the year before in hopes of making a better pitch about the hardships residents are having in operating the town.

The state rejected Cary Plantation’s initial proposal last year, fearing that more towns similar in size also would be encouraged to attempt to deorganize and hand control over to state and county official as a way to reduce tax burdens.

Cary, which used to be a part of SAD 70 in Hodgdon, has withdrawn from the district and now tuitions approximately 18 students to schools in the SAD.


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