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Freeport residents approve all charter amendments

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Freeport residents approve all charter amendments

FREEPORT — Nearly 66 percent of registered voters came to the polls Tuesday and they approved five amendments to the Town Charter.

The amendments were the result of several council discussions, two failed citizen petitions to overturn consolidation of dispatch services with Brunswick, and a Human Rights complaint on behalf of residents with disabilities.

Question 1, to make the technical changes necessary to modernize and create consistency throughout the charter, was approved 2,754 to 796. It removes references to the School Committee and adds references to Regional School Unit 5.

Question 2 was approved 2,720 to 910. This amendment more clearly defines the legal principals for appointing and removing a town manager.

Question 3 was also approved by a large margin, 2,695 to 891. It clarifies Town Council procedures and duties. A new provision distinguishes between orders, ordinances and resolves, and a provision limiting the timing of adoption of the capital program is removed.

Question 4, to increase the thresholds for approval of expenditures, was approved 1,933 to 1,736. Contracts under $100,000 will not require council authorization, and capital improvement bonds under $100,000 will not require voter authorization.

Question 5 was approved 3,041 to 645. This amendment makes accommodations for people with disabilities. Petition processes are now updated to include "reasonable accommodations," so that a qualified person with a disability may have a petition delivered in person for signature.

A provision prohibiting discrimination against town employees and officials is updated to include people with disabilities, and a new provision is added indicating the town has adopted and will maintain a comprehensive accommodation policy.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net