A near-total ban on consumer fireworks, a lifetime ban for vandalism of shellfish conservation sites, and a budget with deep cuts due to COVID-19 will go to vote in Waldoboro’s annual town meeting by referendum July 14.
The fireworks article follows up on a 279-249 vote last year to repeal the town’s fireworks ordinance. The repeal was the result of a citizen’s petition from Ray Perkins.
While Perkins’ intent was to ban fireworks, the effect of last year’s vote was to make the rules more permissive. The repeal of the ordinance left Waldoboro under state rules, which are less strict.
Article 32, asks if the town will prohibit the purchase, sale, and use of consumer fireworks.
The ban would not affect possession of consumer fireworks and would allow for fireworks displays at special events, with permission from the board of selectmen, in addition to displays on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and New Year’s Eve from 8:30-10 p.m., pending board approval.
The ban does not apply to anyone utilizing a pyrotechnic device in pest dispersal operations related to blueberry farming.
Article 33 asks if the town will amend its shellfish management ordinance to establish penalties for vandalism of conservation gear.
The penalties include a lifetime licensing ban for any clamdigger who damages a conservation site on the Medomak River.
The town’s shellfish conservation committee proposed the measure after vandalism of conservation sites in 2019.
Polls will be open for in-person voting at the town office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots must be returned to the town office no later than 8 p.m. July 14.
The municipal budget totals $4,423,090, a decrease of $458,818 or 9.34% from an earlier version and a decrease of $536,329 or 10.81% from the previous year.
Every municipal department saw decreases in the revised budget.
The cuts eliminated an administrative assistant position held by Melody Tracy and reduced hours for other town office employees from 40 to 32 per week. The town office cut its hours to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
The Waldoboro Recreation Department saw a nearly 70% cut in its budget, with Recreation Director Marcus Benner shifting to a combination of clerical work and public works duties, along with two days a week in his recreation role.
Voters will fill two seats on the board of selectmen in the only contested election. Jann Griesenbrock, Seth Hall, Margo Metrick, and Jann Minzy are the candidates. See “Four seek two seats on Waldoboro Board of Selectmen” on Page 4.
On the RSU 40 Board of Directors, incumbents Emily Trask-Eaton and Melvin Williams are running unopposed for reelection.
For the Waldoboro Utility District Board of Trustees, incumbents Frederick Bess and Samuel Chapman are running unopposed for reelection as write-in candidates.
There are no candidates on the ballot for three seats on the budget committee.
All terms are three years.