Selectman race, marijuana vote on tap in Hancock

HANCOCK — Three candidates — John Bridges, Randall Ewins and Jessie Stewart — are vying for two selectmen’s seats being vacated by veteran Selectmen Myrna Coffin and Gary Hunt.

The election will be held at the town office Monday, May 8, from 1-7 p.m. followed by the Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. at Hancock Grammar School.

Residents at Town Meeting will vote on the proposed municipal and education budgets, which combined total $4.8 million.

Voters also will decide whether to adopt a proposed ordinance prohibiting retail marijuana businesses and social clubs.

The proposed $4-million school budget is 5 percent, or $214,000, lower than the current budget.

School Superintendent Katrina Kane said the savings were realized when eight teachers resigned, most due to retirement. The salaries of their replacements are lower. Also, there are fewer out-of-district placements for special education students, and, as a result, four school buses are needed instead of five.

“Under the guidance of Special Education Director Adam Rabasca, we have been able to reduce out-of-district placements by providing services within the district, resulting in savings for both related services and transportation,” Kane said.

At the same time, she said, the district was able to repair roofs on three portable classrooms, update the math program and reinstate Camp Kieve Leadership Decisions Institute for seventh-graders.

The state’s funding for Hancock’s kindergarten-through-12th grade is expected to decrease in the next academic year by 36.6 percent, or by $88,693.

No candidates have submitted nomination papers for a one-year Planning Board seat vacated in October 2016 by Town Clerk Toni Dyer, but Antonio Blasi said he would accept a write-in vote, Dyer said.

Blasi previously served on the Planning Board but was defeated by Katie Colwell in 2016.

Josh Ferris is vacating his three-year Planning Board seat and Mark Piper has filed his candidacy for that position.

Sarah Baker is running for re-election to the School Board, while William Birdsall is vacating his seat on the board.

Joy Constance Stratton said she would accept a write in on the ballot for Birdsall’s seat.

There are 77 warrant articles for Town Meeting, ending with the proposed marijuana ordinance.

Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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