DEER ISLE — Theater-style, cushioned seats and a stage won out over metal folding chairs in the town office — at least for the annual Town Meeting.
The town of Deer Isle tried a few new things at this year’s Town Meeting, which was held on a Saturday instead of a weekday afternoon to allow more working people to attend.
“Turnout was about 10 percent higher than in past years,” said Town Manager Jim Fisher. “We hoped to attract more working-age participants, but I think we had a pretty similar demographic to past years.”
Deer Isle also changed the Town Meeting venue, gathering at the Reach Performing Arts Center located inside the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School instead of the town office.
Fisher said residents “appeared to prefer” the performing arts center to the town hall.
“Comments I heard were that the seats were more comfortable and the panel more visible,” Fisher said.
The town had organized childcare for families who attended but Fisher said not many used the service.
“We should have promoted that sooner,” he said.
In election news, longtime former County Commissioner Percy “Joe” Brown was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. Brown ran unopposed.
Brown, the owner of a heating and plumbing business called Percy L. Brown and Son, replaces Twyla Weed who was recognized with a bouquet for all her years of service to Deer Isle.
Deer Isle resident Jane Osborne, who is chairwoman of the CSD 13 School Board, was returned to a three-year term on the board as was incumbent School Board member and write-in candidate Liz Perez.
Residents elected Tracie Morey to a two-year term on the School Board.
In other business, all spending articles passed as written for a total fiscal year 2019 municipal budget of $1,446,609. The new budget year starts July 1.
That budget is an increase of $78,041 or 5.7 percent over the current year, according to the annual town report. The new budget includes $40,000, approved by referendum, to conduct a town-wide revaluation.