In a half hour, 25 Cushing residents approved all 56 articles on the town meeting warrant, including the $546,918 budget, a 7 percent reduction from last year's figure.

The March 19 town meeting went on despite a storm bringing a foot or more of snow to the area.

Mike Mayo acted as moderator.

During the brief session, few questions were raised.

One resident wanted clarification on the $50,000 account for snow removal, inquiring about a breakdown of expenses such as pay, hours worked, and amount of sand used through the season.

Select board Chairman Alton Grover said the itemized information is at the town office for public viewing.

The same resident also questioned whether Grover, as a selectman and town employee — plowing town roads — creates a conflict of interest.

Select board member Robert Worthing said the Maine Municipal Association has been consulted, and Grover working for the town as well as acting as an elected official is not a conflict, as the jobs are separate.

The municipal officers' handbook further explains the situation, he added.

Article 44, to transfer nearly $7,000 from the Comprehensive Plan account to the planning board account was asked to be reconsidered for future use.

Select board member Daniel Staples said it was decided it would be best to save the town money and transfer the capital. Planning board Chairman Daniel Remian said the money will be used to offset cost of a Federal Emergency Management Agency flood plan map of the town.

At the polls March 18, Cushing voters strongly supported an ordinance designed to prohibit sex offenders from living within 750 feet of the school and chose Martha Marchut to serve her first term on the select board.

The ordinance was approved 152 to 20.

The local restriction bars registered offenders from living within close proximity of the elementary school. The law is not retroactive — offenders already living at a residence within the bounds cannot be forced to relocate.

Marchut defeated challenger Randy Robbins 121 to 48 to fill Willard Payson's seat. Payson did not seek re-election.

Uncontested candidates Alton Grover for select board, Evelyn Kalloch for planning board, and Brooke Harrington for a budget committee seat were elected to serve the town.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at