Woolwich interviews town clerk candidates, eyes meeting sites

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 8:15am

    Woolwich selectmen began reviewing applications and interviewing candidates for town clerk this week; they hope to fill the job before the July 14 State Primary election.

    “Our goal is to have a town clerk hired as soon as possible but the position will remain open until it’s filled,” Chairman David King Sr. said Monday morning The board had scheduled one interview for later that afternoon. Twenty applications had been received so far, King told Wiscasset Newspaper.

    Following the June 5 resignation of Chelsea Lane, the board appointed Town Administrator Kim Dalton to serve as town clerk.

    In response to an email, Dalton stated the town office had received about 300 requests for absentee ballots. Due to the pandemic, the state has suspended the deadline for requesting them, she wrote. Registered voters can request them up to election day; however, ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. that day or won’t be counted. Voters should allow five days if they intend to mail in their absentee ballots. Requests for absentee ballots can be made by calling the town office during business hours.

    In-person voting the day of the election will be from 8 to 8 at Woolwich Central School on Nequasset Road. New voters can register at the town office or at the polls on election day. A link with a state-produced video on the voting process is posted on Woolwich’s website.

    King said selectmen are close to finalizing a proposed 2020-2021 budget. They’ll hold a budget workshop at 5 p.m. Monday, June 29. No annual town meeting date has been set, although the board is considering September.

    Selectmen Allison Hepler and Jason Shaw have been tasked with finding a suitable town meeting location including possibly at WCS in separate rooms which would be linked by teleconference or Zoom. “We’re also considering having it outdoors, but we’re waiting for additional guidance from the state,” Hepler said.

    Hepler noted, COVID-19 prevention guidelines the state released June 15 recommend different rules for indoor and outdoor town meeting venues. For instance, if a town meeting is held indoors in multiple rooms, it must be within the same building with participants and town officials adhering to social distancing recommendations. Town officials would have to abide by the current maximum capacity of 50 persons per room.

    It’s strongly recommended all meeting participants wear a face covering at all times and not congregate within the building or outside in the parking areas, added Hepler. Guidelines are also available for holding a drive-in town meeting requiring participants to remain in their cars.

    Prior to the town meeting, the board plans to hold a public hearing on proposed marijuana ordinances. The board hopes the hearing will serve as a trial run for the town meeting.  

    Also to be determined is when this year’s town report will be published. “With everything else that’s been going on it got put on hold. We certainly plan to print one and include a dedication within it just the way we always have,” said King. He noted it will be the 260th edition.