Warren residents voted to approve all articles, approving $2,264,729 as their 2013 budget at the annual town meeting held March 26 at Warren Community School.

This amount is $2,513 more than last year's budget.

Administrative costs were questioned in the general government portion of the budget. The budget committee had recommended $223,503 compared to the selectmen's recommendation of $252,063, a difference of $28,560.

Still in search of a permanent town manager, the board felt it necessary to add $15,000 to the proposed salary.

"We interviewed candidates who fit in our salary range, and that process did not yield the results we were hoping to be a leader for your town," said Interim Town Manager Glenn Aho. "We have to provide a larger salary if we want to hire the person who is right for Warren."

Another $6,000 was added for legal fees.The remaining $7,000 was a variety of other expenses.

An attempt to present a clearer view of what the town warrant was asking from its residents created more confusion than clarification. Both Article 10 and Article 15 dealt with, in part, appropriating money for social services in the amount of $16,476.

"If this [Article 10] fails, Article 15 fails too," said Interim Town Manager Glenn Aho.

"A yes vote forces everyone in this town to contribute," said budget committee member Anthony Jameson. He explained that anyone can contribute on their own anytime to the social service agencies.

Article 10, labeled Unclassified Departments, asked to appropriate a total recommendation from the budget committee of $334,860 and the board of selectmen recommended $352,936. Categories within this article included social services, facilities and grounds, personnel and indebtedness.

Specifically in question was the $16,476 increase from the selectmen in the social services and contributions category. A motion was made to vote on each line item separately, which passed. After 40 minutes of deliberation, the motion was retracted, sighting it could be dealt with more definitively on Article 15.

"To see what sum of money the town will vote to raise or appropriate for special requests for the provider agencies set forth below" was how Article 15 read. The list included all the social service agencies seeking money from the town. Representatives from Broadreach, Midcoast Maine Community Action, and Penquis Community Action were on hand to speak to their program's contributions to the Warren area.

A resident asked how it would affect the tax rate if $16,476 was approved. After further calculation Aho answered, "Five cents per $1,000."

In the end, Article 10 was passed as read by Moderator John Black and Article 15 was passed over, meaning not dealt with due to concern it would appear the townspeople were approving the amount of $16,476 to be appropriated twice.

The amounts appropriated to each agency remained the same: Broadreach, $1,000; Coastal Opportunities, $500; Kennebec Behavioral, $100; Midcoast Maine Community Action, $1,000; New Hope for Women, $1,155; Penquis Community Action, $9,178; Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine, $1,300; and Spectrum Generations, $2,243.

The residents also voted to pass over Article 16, which had been also mentioned in a previous article to appropriate $4,000 for the support of the Warren Historical Society.

Nov. 15 was set as the due date for assessed taxes. A 7 percent interest will be charged on all unpaid taxes after that date. A 3 percent interest will be paid on any prepaid taxes for the 2013-2014 year. Residents also voted to authorize the tax collector to establish a tax club payment plan for property taxes.

Approximately 83 residents attended the two hour meeting that voted on 30 articles, passing 28 and passing over two.

During the meeting, the following nominees were accepted for a vacancy on the budget committee as five terms have expired. Nominated were: Ed Courtney, Elizabeth Stanley, Anthony Jameson, George Knutsen and Bill Lufkin. Another election held was for Ed Courtney and James Doyle as fishing wardens.

On March 25, during formal elections, Arnold Hill was reelected to the board of selectmen. Wayne Luce accepted to maintain his seat on the School Administrative District 40 board, with four write-in votes as there were no candidates on the ballot. Incumbent school board members Theodore "Tod" Brown and Maggie Massengale were reelected.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.