Union narrowly rejects referendum to appoint treasurer
Union — Voters rejected a referendum on Nov. 6 that would have changed the Union treasurer's post from an elected to an appointed position — by four votes. The article was defeated by a vote of 665 in favor and 669 against.
Four of the five Union selectmen endorsed the change in a public hearing on Oct. 16, citing erroneous financial records and the treasurer position's lack of accountability to any in-house authority. The board quoted a report by auditing firm RHR Smith & Company that identified five "significant deficiencies" and three "material weaknesses" in the town's financial processes.
At the Oct. 16 hearing, attendees voiced their concern for the fate of current treasurer Linda McAllister, who has held that position for the past 25 years. Union resident Sybil Wentworth read a letter on McAllister's behalf that alleged the select board was using McAllister's health concerns to force her out of the treasurer post.
Had the referendum passed, the proposed change would have taken effect on July 1, 2013.
Courier Publications reporter Bane Okholm can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.