Residents were reminded during a public hearing Aug. 4 that if the special referendum town meeting warrant article fails Aug. 18, the town of Waldoboro will shut down Oct. 1.

The article being voted on is the budget for the Office of the Town Manager, which failed at the polls in the June 9 referendum by a vote of 424 to 286. Although the article failed, the vote to authorize the expenditure of up to one quarter of last year's appropriation passed — allowing the town to continue operations.

However, when the new warrant article was drawn up, it addressed only the budget for the Office of the Town Manager and did not include requesting authorization for the same expenditure should it fail again. Thus, there will be no checks written, monies deposited, or office activities if the Aug. 18 referendum fails.

"I am hopeful the residents of Waldoboro understand the form of government they have chosen requires a budget for the Office of the Town Manager, regardless of who sits in the seat," said Town Manager Linda-Jean Briggs.

During the July 14 selectmen's meeting, Briggs proposed cutting her pay raise as a way to move the budget forward. The adjustment decreased the budget for the Office of Town Manager by just over $2,000, and does not affect the other staff who fall within the Office of the Town Manager.

Residents, upset at Briggs' performance, claim she is not deserving of the raise anyway, as it is not outlined in her contract. However, Chairman Jann Minzy said the selectmen have the appropriate authority to give Briggs a 3 percent cost of living raise.

"I urge folks to go to the polls on Aug. 18 and vote affirmatively for the budget," said Briggs. "Only then will we be able to set a mil rate, send out bills and receive revenue.

"We need to spend our efforts chasing positive outcomes to move the town forward," she concluded.

The referendum town meeting will take place at the municipal building from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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