Yarmouth Town Meeting OKs all warrant articles

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YARMOUTH — Residents passed all 29 warrant articles with no discussion and no objections at Tuesday night’s annual Town Meeting.

The recipient of the town’s annual Latchstring Award, and several town officials were also recognized during the meeting at Yarmouth High School. 

The $26.6 million school budget now goes to a validation referendum June 11, and, if passed, would add 65 cents per $1,000 of valuation to the tax rate. Coupled with the $14.3 million municipal budget approved Tuesday, total school and town spending would increase the tax rate by 93 cents, from $17.83 per $1,000 of valuation to $18.76.

Residents will also vote Tuesday on a slate of municipal candidates. There are four candidates for two seats on the Town Council and two uncontested candidates for two seats on the School Committee.

The council candidates are current Council Chairman Robert Waeldner, Randall Bates, Chris Tanguay and Peter Fromuth.

The two running for School Committee are current Chairwoman Anne Fleming and Jessica Garrou, who is running for the seat being vacated by Leah Guay.

The last item on the warrant was a proposal to create a new Environmental Health and Hazards Reserve Fund, which would be used primarily to combat the browntail moth, but could also be used for other emergent threats.

The night was not all business, however, as the town celebrated the recipient of its annual Latchstring Award, Linda Grant.

Grant was recognized for 25 years of service to the town, including as a member of the Village Improvement Society, the Yarmouth Historical Society and the 2010 Comprehensive Plan Committee.

In introducing Grant, Waeldner thanked her for the “time, creativity and passion” she has shared over the years, as well as her efforts at building community.

Grant said she has enjoyed her years of work on a variety of projects important to the town, but also said it takes a lot of willing hands to get things done.

She also thanked the town staff, and Town Manager Nat Tupper in particular, for being helpful and engaged.

Town leaders also took the opportunity Tuesday to honor retiring Police Chief Mike Morrill for his 42 years of service to the Police Department, including the last 16 as chief.

Tupper called Morrill a “mainstay of the community” and noted his professionalism, his leadership, his sense of humor and his “unwavering commitment to the people of Yarmouth.”

Morrill received a prolonged standing ovation and said while he appreciated Tupper’s words of praise, it was really “the very talented group of people” he worked with that made his job both “rewarding and enjoyable.”

Morrill said he’s been blessed to work “with an exceptional group of coworkers, who truly care about the community they serve.”

Morrill will also be feted at a public reception from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at Town Hall.

Before voting began Tuesday, the town also celebrated the service of outgoing Councilor Pat Thompson and Guay.

Waeldner said that during her six years on the Town Council, Thompson had provided “invaluable service” and he praised her for always being “fair and cooperative during deliberation.”

In summing up the long hours it takes to serve on a town board, Guay said she finally convinced her family that a bowl of cereal could be dinner.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 780-9097 or [email protected]. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Yarmouth residents approved every warrant article at the June 4 annual Town Meeting at Yarmouth High School.

Linda Grant received Yarmouth’s annual Latchstring Award for outstanding service to the community during the annual Town Meeting Tuesday.

Yarmouth’s retiring Police Chief Mike Morrill received a prolonged standing ovation for his 42 years of service to the town during Tuesday’s annual Town Meeting.

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