Approve municipal and school budgets

Camden voters defeat downtown cannabis stores; elect Alison McKellar, Chris Nolan to Select Board

Tue, 06/13/2023 - 10:15pm

    CAMDEN – Voters in Camden resoundingly defeated articles to allow cannabis retail stores in the town.

    Official results released by Town Clerk Katrina Oakes at 10:40 p.m. show 1,470 no votes and 680 yes votes for up to two cannabis retail stores in Camden’s downtown business districts, except within 500 feet of schools, day care facilities and the Camden Public Library (Article 3). No votes totaling 1337 dominated on an alternative (Article 4) to allow cannabis shops in the town’s downtown business districts, except in areas within 1,000 feet of schools, day care facilities and the Library. Votes in favor of Article 4 totaled 786.

    After a hand-count of about 150 ballots was completed, the results confirmed that Alison McKellar was re-elected for a third term on the Select Board and Chris Nolan won a seat on the Select Board.

    Select Board election

    Raymond Andresen 789

    Alison S. McKellar 1079

    Christopher Nolan 901 

    Marc Ratner 582

    Mary Beth Leone Thomas 421 

    School Administrative District 28 and CSD Board elections

    Marcus Mrowka and Richard Thackeray were elected to the Camden-Rockport and Five Town CSD School Boards for three-year terms.

    Marcus Mrowka 1,001

    Jezabel (Sessa) Salas 887

    Richard Thackeray 990

    Voters approved the $11.4 million 2023-24 town budget, which represents a net increase in expenditures of 3.28 percent. The yes vote was 1462 and no vote 505.

    Both the $18.9 million School Administrative District (K-8) and $15.5 million Five Town CSD (9-12) were approved by wide margins.

    The remainder of articles on the ballots also were approved by wide margins.

    Article 5 (Yes 1,963, No 131) allows the transfer of town-owned land along Rollins Road to Coastal Mountains Land Trust for the purpose of using it as a trailhead to a system of trails on the Goose River Preserve. 

    Article 6 (Yes 1,861, No 185) amends the Streets and Sidewalk ordinance to allow regulation of the placement of structures, such as utilities, within the town’s streets and roads. It requires performance standards for how work within streets and roads is done and the condition the streets and roads are returned to when work is completed.

    Article 7 (Yes 1,453, No 490) changes business licensing ordinances to add special provisions for ‘entertainment districts.’ It consolidates rules for amusement permits, public assemblies, flea markets, taxicabs, marijuana, alcoholic beverages and more into a new ‘Chapter 142 Licensing business and other.’

    Article 8 (Yes 1,252, No 726) is an amendment to the Town Charter that changes selection of Budget Committee members to Select Board appointment and removes specific names of budget categories from the Charter. 

    Article 12 (Yes 1,436, No 559) allows Select Board members to dispose of tax-acquired property, excluding the Apollo Tannery property and adjacent property protected by a Coastal Mountain Land Trust easement. In the case of qualifying homestead property special rules apply to as set by Maine state.

    Article 15 (Yes 1,674, No 265) approves the use of $4,904,451from non-property tax revenues for reducing the property tax commitment. 

    Article 16 (Yes 1,462, No 505) approves the Select Board’s recommended $11,399,305 town budget, with some but not all of the amount to be raised by taxation. This budget represents a net increase in expenditures of 3.28 percent.

    School budgets

    Referendum votes were taken on the school budgets.

    The votes on the $18,922,166.00 2023-34 budget for School Administrative District 28 (Camden/Rockport K-8 schools) are Yes 1,725, No 355.

    The votes on the $15,515,37 2023-24 Five Town CSD (Camden Hills Regional High School) are Yes 1,721, No 347.