FRENCHBORO — “It is wonderful to see a full house,” Moderator Duncan Bond told the residents gathered for the Frenchboro Town Meeting June 20.
The population of Long Island, where the town is located, is about 60 souls. Nearly half of them turned out for the meeting and passed all 43 articles with little discussion. The meeting took less than an hour.
Residents and school district representatives packed the Frenchboro town office to vote on a $250,434 town budget for fiscal year 2018-19. That figure is $27,897 less than last year’s budget.
By a show of hands, several town officials were re-elected into positions for which the terms were expiring. Sarah Brake was re-elected to the Selectboard. Ann Fernald will remain on as the town clerk and Heidi Kelley will remain on as the tax collector. Zach Lunt, who ended his three-year term on the Selectboard one year early, was replaced by Zain Padamsee.
One resident asked when members of the Selectboard had last been given a raise. They were told that could be a discussion among residents to include in next year’s budget, but those numbers could not be changed for this budget year.
Margaret Porter was nominated to become a member of the Schoolboard for a year to replace Rick Turner, whose term expired. Adam Paisley will remain on the Fire Warden Committee for a one-year term.
Zachary Ransom and Andy Smith were replaced on the Harbor Committee by Adam Paisley and Alton Pinkham. Members whose terms were renewed include Rod Bost, Joe Lunt and Daniel Saxby.
Residents were asked if they wanted to vote in a new member of the Planning Board. Zach Lunt was nominated and voted in to join the board.
Articles 20 – 30 on the ballot were to authorize a school budget of $174,763, a decrease of $9,326 from last year’s budget.
Voters approved the amount with only a few questions. One resident asked about transportation costs for students on off-island trips. Outgoing Principal Lindsay Eysnogle said the school has been successful at securing grant funding for such occasions.
School Superintendent Marc Gousse got up and thanked outgoing teacher Jan Keiper for her four years of teaching on the island.
Mindi Vestal has been hired as the new teacher. Gousse also welcomed incoming Principal Jill Cohen.