Verona Island voters opt to play it safe



Photo by Steve Fuller

Town Clerk Marlene Smith (back to camera) swears in three of the six Budget Committee members who were re-elected at Verona Island’s annual Town Meeting Saturday night. From left are: Jennifer Riefler, Ed Petravicz and Lionel Harvey.

VERONA ISLAND — A small group of voters made relatively quick work of business at the annual Town Meeting Saturday night.

Among the articles approved were one authorizing the purchase of a new safe for town records and another giving selectmen a $10,000 financial cushion for any “unanticipated expenses and emergencies” in the coming year.

Town Clerk Marlene Smith told the 17 other residents in attendance the town needs a new safe because the two other safes at the town office are already full. Some records are currently being stored in fireproof filing cabinets.

After the meeting, Smith said the town is required to keep more information now than it was in the past. She said she used to be able to fit three years worth of data into one book, but is “now lucky to fit one” year in. More data means more books, which require more space.

The article called for raising $5,000 for the purchase of a safe. Smith said she has not yet selected a specific safe for purchase, and therefore did not know the exact cost, because she wanted to see if voters would first give their approval.

A new article on this year’s warrant asked if voters would allow municipal officers to spend up to a certain amount of money from surplus to meet any unanticipated costs that might spring up during the year.

Selectmen said they were advised by Maine Municipal Association to include the article, which did not come with a recommended dollar figure.

“Rather than us force a number on you,” said Selectman Thomas Carpenter, “we thought we’d leave it open to the floor.”

Selectmen said they were not looking for a blank check from voters, and said they saw no need for an amount over $10,000. That sounded good to voters, who easily approved the article with a cap for that amount.

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Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller has worked at The Ellsworth American since 2012. He covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast’s Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland. [email protected]