by Mary Grow
China selectmen are moving toward asking voters to act on at least four business items at the polls Nov. 7, in addition to local elections and state questions.
The potential questions ask if voters will approve:
- A tentatively-titled “Local Food and Community Self-Government Ordinance,” as authorized under the 2017 state food sovereignty law allowing municipalities to regulate local food production;
- A request to spend up to $8,500 from Unassigned Fund Balance (surplus) to build a fire pond on Neck Road;
- A statement that all non-profit organizations asking for town funds are required to submit a financial statement, a question aimed at making permanent a policy often followed already; and
- Authorization for selectmen to rent out space on the town’s communications tower. The proposed ordinance is borrowed from another small Maine town. Selectmen asked Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux to draft wording for the other questions. They plan to give them final approval at their Sept. 18 meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the town office meeting room.
The budget committee met Sept. 11 and unanimously recommended voters approve the second, third and fourth questions, with a minor change in wording in the third one to require organizations’ “most recent” financial statements. The proposed ordinance did not require budget committee review. Officials to be elected are three members of the board of selectmen, two for two-year terms and one for one year to finish Joann Austin’s term after she resigns effective Nov. 1; Planning board members from Districts 1 and 3 plus the alternate at large; and budget committee members from Districts 1 and 3 plus the chairman.
Signed nomination papers must be returned to the town office by 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, for candidates’ names to appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.
In other business Sept. 6, board Chairman Neil Farrington reported on the most recent bicentennial committee meeting. Board members unanimously appointed the following people to the committee to plan the 2018 two-hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of China: Eric Austin, Donald Bassett, Irene Belanger, Bob Bennett, Farrington and Betty and Sherwood Glidden. More volunteers are welcome.
Selectmen agreed unanimously to allow The Town Line newspaper to rent space for a nominal fee in the old town house basement, after planned cleaning and renovations are finished.
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