Town Meeting: Bridgewater voters trim budget, keep traditional format

Published: 03-10-2023 11:17 PM

BRIDGEWATER — Voters slashed Bridgewater’s proposed municipal budget by 10% from the floor at Tuesday’s approximately four-hour in-person Town Meeting. They also opted to stick with floor voting at future Town Meetings.

The budget reduction puts spending at about $1.4 million, compared with the $1.5 million that municipal officials proposed, Town Treasurer Melissa Spear said in a Wednesday phone interview.

“We’re working today to try to figure out where we’re going to cut,” Spear said. “I think it’s basically going to be salaries … We’ve got to run our buildings. It is what it is.”

The budget is up from a $1.3 million budget approved last year.

With little discussion, voters approved borrowing up to $250,000 for a new truck for the highway department and a total of $24,250 for social service agencies.

In an 84-37 paper ballot vote, Bridgewater rejected three articles that would have moved the election of town officers, budget articles and public questions from floor votes to Australian ballot, Town Clerk Nancy Robinson said on Wednesday.

From the floor, voters elected Steve Tarleton Jr. to a three-year term on the Selectboard.

In Australian ballot voting, voters elected Lara Bowers to a two-year seat and Ryan Townsend to a one-year seat.

Elected officials

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Number of voters: 133

Number on checklist: 731

Selectboard: Steve Tarleton Jr.

Lister: Victoria Young

Cemetery Commissioner: Greg Jenne

Constable: David Adams