Franklin Countys First News

Jay aims for April town meeting vote

JAY - The Board of Selectpersons agreed to hold an April town meeting in 2018 at Tuesday's meeting, in an attempt to align with the local school budget process.

An April town meeting vote on the 2018-19 fiscal year budget could allow residents to cast ballots for both municipal expenditures as well as the RSU 73 validation vote, saving money. Selectpersons also noted that having the two votes held at the same time would boost turnout.

The present fiscal year's town meeting was held on April 25, with voters electing a new selectperson and approving all but two of the articles. The two municipal cost centers not approved, the Town Government and Sewer Department articles, were both reduced by roughly $9,000 and then approved at a second referendum on June 13. In August, the budget was altered again via a citizen petition and special town meeting that added $120,000 back into the budget to reinstate curbside pickup.

The initial school and town votes did not align this year, with the school voting in June along with the town's second vote. The difference in dates between the initial votes, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said, had been due to snowstorms that had delayed the school budget process.

Selectpersons that spoke to the issue were in favor of the April date, both to align with the school vote and, as Selectperson Judy Diaz said, to complete the budget process.

It was possible that the April vote time line could result in some state figures not being known throughout part of the process, LaFreniere said. However, it was possible those figures, such as the state school subsidy numbers, might not be known in a later time line either. Typically, figures would generally be known before the actual vote in April, she said.

A specific time line will be developed for the selectpersons' consideration, likely beginning in 2018. Jay utilizes both the board and a budget committee to generate recommendations for each budgetary article. Each article is set by the selectpersons, then voted up or down at the referendum.

The board also briefly discussed whether or not to put up holiday decorations later this year. The new utility poles along Main Street do not have the capability to have decorations with electric lights, or the brackets to hold decorations. LaFreniere said that the town did have a few spare brackets, but that providing light access would cost roughly $200 per pole. The older utility poles, north of the Riley Street intersection, have both brackets and outlets for decorative lighting.

The board's options are to put up no decorations, which is what happened last year; to put up decorations north of the Riley Road; to put up unlit decorations, using spare brackets, south of the Riley Road; pay to install outlets or some combination of those ideas. The installation itself has been done by the fire department in the past.

The board will discuss the issue at a future meeting.

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3 Responses »

  1. The residents of Jay would be better served if these people played Bingo once every two weeks.

  2. I hope the RSU will have a budget committee comprised of residents of Jay, Livermore, and Livermore Falls. This would be a true budget committee.

  3. @susie

    They already do. It's called the school board.