November 18, 2019

Warren to vote today on officials

WARREN — Voters go to the polls today to pick two selectmen, an SAD 40 director, and sewer trustees. They then proceed to the annual town meeting Tuesday.

Elections will be held from noon to 8 p.m. today at the town office.

Two three-year selectman positions are up for grabs, with both incumbents seeking re-election.

Selectman John Crabtree will run unopposed for his seat, while Selectman Arnold Hill will be challenged by Roger Peabody, the vice chairman of the planning board, according to Selectman Ed LaFlamme.

SAD 40 incumbent Sonja Wyllie will try for another three-year term, running against newcomer Steven Cornforth.

Three Warren Sanitary District trustee seats are open; all are three-year positions. Incumbent Cathy McKeown is running unopposed. Mark Anderson is unopposed for the seat being vacated by Kathy Chase, who will not seek another term. Robert Graham, an incumbent who missed the deadline for filing papers, will run as a write-in candidate, LaFlamme said.

On Tuesday, voters will gather at 7 p.m. at the Masonic Hall on Route 90 for the annual town meeting to vote on a gross municipal budget that reflects a 2 percent increase over last year.

The $1,154,904 budget includes pay raises for employees. LaFlamme said the increases are aimed at bringing the workers’ wages closer to those of town office employees in surrounding municipalities.

The town manager’s salary is proposed to jump 10 percent, to $34,839; code enforcement officer, a 29 percent increase, to $26,500; bookkeeper, 17 percent, to $22,000; town clerk and office clerk, both 21 percent, to $20,000.

The town’s share of the Knox County budget is up 1 percent at $174,247. The SAD 40 school budget, which is not yet determined, is estimated to rise 6 percent to $1,672,800.

Public safety costs for the town include: Fire Department, $23,050; ambulance, $28,900; and dispatch services, $29,200, which includes telephone and equipment purchase costs. The town will pay Thomaston $23,900 for dispatch services, up 45 percent from $16,500.

Public works expenses are $200,000, and transfer station, $152,700.

The town’s current tax rate is $13.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The amount to be raised through property taxes for the proposed budget could not be obtained late last week.

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