Bath council sends charter amendments to referendum

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BATH — In a special meeting Monday that lasted less than 10 minutes and attracted one member of the public, the City Council unanimously placed two charter amendment questions on the Nov. 7 ballot.

One amendment would allow the city manager to live outside of Bath, but only with approval from a majority of the City Council. The manager currently does not have to be a resident at the time of appointment, but cannot live outside Bath “during his tenure of office,” according to the charter.

Former Public Works Director Peter Owen has served as city manager since former City Manager Bill Giroux’s departure in June. Council Chairwoman Mari Eosco noted in a meeting of the panel Sept. 6 that although she would like the next permanent manager to live in Bath, restricting residency to that city could cause candidates in nearby communities not to apply for the permanent manager position.

The other amendment would bring candidate nomination deadlines for city elections in agreement with new Maine law. As opposed to nomination papers being available the third Tuesday in August and due back the third Tuesday in September by 5 p.m., they would be available the third Tuesday in July and due back the third Tuesday in August. 

The City Council on Sept. 6 had also unanimously approved sending a $2.8 million bond for street and sidewalk improvements to voters in November. The improvements, which include safety upgrades, would take place over the next three to five years to as-yet unspecified areas in Bath.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.