LINCOLNVILLE – Voters of the town of Lincolnville spent a few minutes Thursday evening during the town’s annual meeting to discuss whether or not to discuss amending the town charter to add term limits for the town’s selectmen.

The warrant article was advisory/non-binding and only provided for a vote to discuss possibly amending the town charter, but ultimately several residents voiced their opinion regarding such amendment as part of the discussion of the article.

The article was the only one of the town’s warrant articles that resulted in significant discussion in a meeting where the town approved a number of other articles fairly quickly.

When the matter initially came up for consideration, former selectman Rosey Gerry said that in his opinion term limits are meant to be used to get rid of someone. He said the town already has a difficult time trying to get really good people to serve on boards and he did not see anything in the article that would help the town.

Select Board Vice Chair Keryn Laite said, “It’s been my experience in this town, for as long as I have lived here, that the taxpayers and voters will take care of term limits if need be,” which resulted in a chuckle from the crowd.

Resident Rick McKittrick said he didn’t have a personal opinion either way, but he said he was concerned if the town would reject even the discussion of term limits. He said he would like to hear more discussion as to why the warrant article was being presented to the town for a vote.

Select Board Member Jordan Barnett-Parker said he brought this up for consideration after a number of citizens brought the issue to his attention. He said the sentiment was there has been a lack of turnover in the board and in local government in general. He said sometimes when things become entrenched in a positive or negative way it prohibits new people from stepping up and trying to get on boards.

One resident then asked under what format or protocol would the town get together to discuss and hear varying viewpoints and Town Administrator David Kinney said part of the intent of the article was that there would be a discussion at the meeting and if the town felt strongly in favor of term limits the selectmen would engage in further discussions and if the town felt strongly against term limits the board would move on to other issues before the town.

Ultimately the article failed after a vote of those town members assembled for the meeting.

The town voted to approved several articles dealing with various portions of the town budget, which amounted to a total of $2,685,725. The voters also approved appropriating $1,676,978 from revenues and the unassigned fund balance to reduce the property tax assessment for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Following the meeting, Kinney responded via email that the town’s tax rate will not be determined until the property tax commitment is completed in August. He noted however that the actions taken by the voters Thursday evening resulted in $4,842 more being required from property taxpayers for municipal services than what was established by the voters for the current fiscal year so the impact should be minimal.

Kinney further added that the municipal budget makes up a small portion of the property tax bill (approximately 13% in 2021) and that the remainder of the tax bill is made up of the school/education appropriation (approximately 73% and the county tax (approximately 14%).

Voters in Lincolnville had previously voted Tuesday night to approve the Lincolnville Central School budget for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year that was adopted at the latest Lincolnville Central School budget meeting by a vote of 307 yes and 46 no. The total proposed budget is $3,985,491.

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