Fire District No. 3 holds annual meeting

May 8, 2018

Fire District No. 3 residents voted to approve next year’s budget, but held off on approving a request to change the way district elections are held at the May 7 annual meeting.

With little discussion, voters passed the district’s $3.7 million budget for 2019. As part of the budget, the district will build up a fund to save up for replacement of air tanks and start a capital improvement program to fund big-ticket purchases, according to district treasurer Joan Brennan.

Residents made some changes to an article designed to clarify the status of the district’s clerk and treasurer positions after it was determined the positions were not officially changed from elected to appointed in the early 2000s.

The article was amended to include a clause for both the clerk and treasurer, as opposed to just the clerk’s position that requires a justifiable or good reason to terminate the person in either position. Once amended it was approved without opposition. The state legislature and governor will need to sign off on the change to formally make the seats appointed.

Voters also decided to postpone the adoption of official ballots for district elections . The change was prompted after Fire Chief Richard Arruda could find no documentation the district ever adopted the use of official ballots.

Many people in the audience, including the chief, were unsure of whether to pass the article amid uncertainty about stipulations and costs associated with doing an election in an official manner. The committee will reach out the the Secretary of State’s office to see what options are available.

Residents wanted more information to be made available before voting on the matter. Another meeting will be held to either approve changing to an official ballot or going another route.

The decision should be made before next years election, according to attorney John Markey.