The annual town meeting will open at the Eddington Town Office on March 5 where voting for municipal officers will go on from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The meeting will reconvene at 7:30 p.m. March 20, at the Eddington School auditorium when the rest of th town’s business will be conducted.
The bottom line for this year’s proposed budget will be $347,372.60, said Town Manager Audrey Fox. That is down about $1,000 from last year.
A major item before the voters this year will be to see if they will appropriate or transfer $20,000 for the purchase of a utility truck for the fire department. Last year’s big-ticket item was the $11,000 purchase of an air purification system used to refill the fire department’s air tanks.
Five candidates are running for two vacancies on the Board of Selectmen. They are Roger Wood, Douglas Crosby, Brian Theriault, Joan Brooks and Robert Solinger. One vacancy was created by the recent death of Selectman Lionel Alley. The other position has been held by Dale Canning for the past six years. Canning decided not to run for re-election.
Pat Wilking is running unopposed for town treasurer.
There are two three-year terms on the school board this year, but there is only one declared candidate, Stephen Sawyer. Fox said she believes the other position will be filled by a write-in candidate.
The town’s population as of the 1990 census was 1,946. Town manager Fox said that there are about 1,400 registered voters in the community.
The town’s current selectmen are: Dale Canning, Paul Gargan, Russell Smith, and Timothy Campbell.
A battle for the position of town clerk is expected at 7 p.m. tonight at the Blue Goose Dance Hall as this community becomes the first in Waldo County to hold its town meeting.
Besides the ongoing controversy over whether the town’s elections are legal to begin with, this year’s contest will feature a three-way race for town clerk. James Cummings and Charles Hunter have announced their intention to oppose incumbent Norma Sheldon. The clerk’s job also carrys the duties of town treasurer and tax collector.
Although Sheldon is in the midst of a character defamation lawsuit against the town, three former selectmen and Rep. David Lindahl, R-Northport, the election is expected to be close.
There will also be a contested race for the position of third selectman. Incumbent Alfred Bonin is being challenged by Herman Littlefield and Paul Rooney.
Besides the challenges at the polls, the method of polling also will be under fire.
Saturday Cove resident Mike Brown has long contended that the method Town Clerk Sheldon has used to conduct elections is improper. The town elects its officers by secret ballot, and Brown contends that state law requires a separate four-hour election prior to debating items in the warrant.
While most towns using the secret ballot set aside one day for elections and another for the open town meeting, Northport for the past few has elected officers by preprinted ballots and voted in open meeting during one evening session. Balloting takes place at the beginning of the meeting and when that is completed, the open meeting begins.
Monday’s meeting will also feature two warrant articles dealing with the Northport Village Corporation. The corporation oversees management of the Bayside section of town and receives financial support from taxpayers throughtout town. This year’s support request is for $15,000. There is also a request for $5,000 to cover legal costs dealing with a lawsuit over the town’s obligations to NVC.
Other major funding issues are requests for $22,000 in matching funds for a dredging project at Saturday Cove, and $20,000 to establish a reserve account for a sand/salt shed. Voters will also choose two representatives to the SAD 34 Board of Directors, and two seats on the Planning Board.