RAYMOND — Raymond’s annual Town Meeting “went relatively smoothly and people seemed pleased and happy,” with all 43 of the proposed warrant articles passing without much dispute.
Town Manager Don Willard said the meeting on Tuesday night was “lightly attended,” with only about 60 residents showing up to participate.
He said that “people were pretty happy” with the warrant articles, and all of them passed as written in about an hour.
There was some discussion about Article 23, which appropriated $1,000 for the Community Development account, and Article 30, which appropriated $60,000 for the Raymond Village Library.
Both of the articles are capped, meaning that “the money cannot be increased, it can only be decreased,” said Selectboard member Rolf Olsen.
“It really gives anyone an opportunity to know what the maximum levels are going to be. Otherwise, you could come in and blow an article apart,” he said.
All monetary warrant articles are capped, Olsen said, which “has been our setup that we’ve had for many, many years.”
Willard said that some members of the Budget/Finance Committee wished to appropriate more funds into the Community Development and Raymond Village Library accounts.
“We would have chosen to increase the funds over those recommended by the Selectboard,” said Bob Gosselin, chairman of the Budget/Finance Committee.
The library requested approximately $72,000 in funds, which Gosselin said the Committee supported.
The Community Development account, for the Lake Region Explorer bus, requested $8,500, and Gosselin said that while the committee may not have supported raising the appropriation that high, it would have liked to increase the amount above $1,000.
“The Budget Committee didn’t like the figures that we had, so they voted not to recommend the articles, which is their prerogative,” Olsen said.
Gosslin said the committee voted not to recommend the articles “to create an awareness amongst the townspeople to be in conversation. We voted in that manner to open the conversation within the town.”
But neither of the articles was changed, and Willard said “it was not a contentious meeting at all. It was very respectful.”
Overall, Willard called it “an uneventful town meeting where things went relatively smoothly and people seemed pleased and happy with the continued Raymond way of budgeting, which is holding the line on taxes. It’s another fiscally responsible budget.”
The $4.6 million budget is an increase of 7.56% over this year’s budget. This means a 2.56% increase in the tax rate, which is currently $12.60 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value.
Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at [email protected]