CAMDEN – A small turnout of voters Wednesday night at the Camden Opera House approved a $5.869 million municipal budget during the business portion of the annual town meeting.
Fewer than 70 residents passed the new budget representing a 1 percent increase over last year’s package, and which falls under the LD1 spending limitations. The budget is for municipal services only and excludes assessments from Mid-Coast Solid Waste, Knox County and the school districts.
During the discussion, in a 33-29 vote, residents gave the Select Board the authority to sell tax-acquired property.
The discussion began when resident Leonard Lookner asked voters to defeat the measure.
“This article compromises participatory democracy,” he said.
Resident John Scholtz wanted to know why the Select Board, rather than the public, should make the decisions on property.
After rejecting three amendments, voters approved the article.
In a special Select Board’s reorganization meeting after the town meeting, newly elected member Deborah Dodge and incumbent Karen Grove were sworn in. Dodge replaced Jimmy Kierstead, who stepped down this year. Grove is beginning her third term.
In the reorganization, Select Board Chairman John French Jr. was chosen to succeed himself, Sharon Gilbert was named vice chairman, and Anita Brosius-Scott, secretary.