North Yarmouth voters OK Charter Commission

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NORTH YARMOUTH — Residents voted 860-456 Tuesday for a referendum question that establishes a Charter Commission.

The commission will likely be the first to review the Town Charter since the document was established in 1982, Selectman Rob Wood said last month. He noted that since then, the size of North Yarmouth has doubled.

“We still have the administrative assistant-selectmen form of government, which many people think works, but some people don’t,” he said. “And it’s a structure which requires major decisions to be made once a year, which has tied our hands.”

The town manager-town council system, such as in neighboring Cumberland, would be an alternative form of government. While that format would allow the council to make immediate decisions, it would eliminate Town Meeting.

The commission’s members will be elected next June. That panel will review the charter over a period of about 18 months, and any recommendations for change will eventually go to Town Meeting.

There were 1,375 ballots cast in the referendum, or 47 percent of eligible voters.

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

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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.