The ballot will be long – an absentee ballot may be a good idea. Call 284-9307 to request one.
Here’s what you will see, besides the elections of various political candidates, on your ballot November 8, in the order they will appear (my explanation in parentheses):
Question 1 (Marijuana legalization): Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?
Question 2 (“Stand Up for Students”): Do you want to add a 3% tax on individual Maine taxable income above $200,000 to create a state fund that would provide direct support for student learning in kindergarten through 12th grade public education?
Question 3 (Universal Background Check): Do you want to require background checks prior to the sale or transfer of firearms between individuals not licensed as firearms dealers, with failure to do so punishable by law, and with some exceptions for family members, hunting, self-defense, lawful competitions, and shooting range activity?
Question 4 (Minimum Wage): Do you want to raise the minimum hourly wage of $7.50 to $9 in 2017, with annual $1 increases up to $12 in 2020, and annual cost-of-living increases thereafter; and do you want to raise the direct wage for service workers who receive tips from half the minimum wage to $5 in 2017, with annual $1 increases until it reaches the adjusted minimum wage?
Question 5 (Ranked Choice Voting): Do you want to allow voters to rank their choices of candidates in elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate, and State Representative, and to have ballots counted at the state level in multiple rounds in which last-place candidates are eliminated until a candidate wins by majority?
Question 6 (Bond Issue): Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities, equipment and property acquisition related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds?
BIDDEFORD CHARTER COMMISSION BALLOT QUESTIONS
- Do you favor amending the Charter to require that the City Council adopt an ordinance within nine months establishing a Police Advisory Committee and a Fire Advisory Committee and upon adoption of the ordinance establishing the advisory committees, that the Police Commission and Fire Commission be abolished?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to require that all residential and commercial properties within the City be reevaluated by a total City wide revaluation every 10 years, a statistical update every five years, and in house partial updates when needed to meet state requirements, with the additional requirement that the City annually appropriate a reserve equal to one tenth of the projected cost of the total City wide revaluation and the projected cost of the statistical update?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to require that the City Manager and the School Committee prepare and submit to the Budget Committee, the Mayor and the City Council a five (5) year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at the second regular meeting of the City Council in November of each year?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to require that the City Council appropriate, during the budget process, at least five hundredths of 1% (0.05%) of the previous year’s total taxable valuation for the sole purpose of funding capital improvements, provided that if the City Council makes a specific determination thatunusual circumstances prevent funding at this level, the City Council by two thirds vote of its full membership may override this funding requirement?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that: (a) City Councilors be compensated at the rate of $150.00 per month, not to exceed $1,800.00 per year with the City Council President receiving an additional $25.00 per month, not to exceed $300.00 per year, and (b) School Committee members be compensated at the rate of $100.00 per month, not to exceed $1,200.00 per year?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that the City Manager shall establish residency in the City of Biddeford within six months from the date of hire,unless otherwise approved by the City Council?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that the Superintendent of Schools shall establish residency in the City of Biddeford within six months from the date of hire, unless otherwise approved by the School Committee?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that a Petition for Recall of the Mayor, Councilor at Large, or a School Committee Member must be signed by not less than 15% of the number of registered voters from the City who voted in the previous State gubernatorial election?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that the Mayor shall not hold any other elected City, County, State or Federal office?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that a School Committee Member may not be an employee or agent of the City of Biddeford or the Biddeford School Department?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to require that the City maintain an ordinance (to be adopted within six months) establishing procedures to allow the public to address the City Council at all City Council meetings and to establish procedures to allow a City Councilor, with the concurrence of at least one other City Councilor, the authority to place an item on the City Council agenda within 30 days?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that the following department heads, officers and agents shall be appointed by the City Manager and confirmed by the City Council with no individual holding more than one position: Tax Assessor, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Public Works Director, Code Enforcement Officer, Director of Economic Development, Building Facilities Manager, City Treasurer, Recreation Director, General Assistance Administrator and Finance Director?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that funds may be transferred from one City department to another City department provided that the Order authorizing the transfer is adopted by two thirds vote of the full membership of the City Council?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that in the event of a City board, commission or committee member vacancy, the Mayor and Chairperson of the board, commission or committee may each within 30 days nominate an individual to fill the vacancy and the City Council shall select a person to fill the vacancy from the two nominations, and to further provide that if the Mayor has not nominated a replacement within 30 days, the City Council President may present a nomination for the City Council’s consideration?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that at a general meeting of citizens, the moderator shall be selected by majority vote of the citizens attending the meeting?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that the City shall maintain an ordinance (to be adopted within six months) establishing a Code of Ethics for all elected and appointed City officials?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that if the City invests, lends or otherwise contributes to any private entity for the purpose of assisting that private entity, if there is no exchange of any goods or services, the entity receiving the funds shall provide an annual report to the City regarding the use of the funds which shall be available to the public within 14 days following submission of the proposed budget to the City Council?
- Do you favor amending the Charter to provide that the Budget Committee shall forward their budget recommendations to the City Council, whose decision on the budget shall be final subject to State mandated school budget validation requirements, if any?
- Do you favor making the necessary grammatical, formatting, clarity and technical language changes to conform the Charter to all State and Federal laws, as well as to maintain consistency within the Charter?