TOPSHAM

Topsham voters heading to the polls today will decide how the town will deal with the sale and use of fireworks for personal use. A state law allowing consumer fireworks took effect Jan. 1.

Rather than sending the decision to voters at the May 16 town meeting, the five-member Board of Selectmen opted to place an array of possible municipal actions on today’s ballot, hoping to engage more voters in the decision.

Question 1 on the municipal ballot addresses the sale of consumer fireworks and provides three options for voters, who must select only one.

By marking the bubble for Question 1A, Topsham voters will indicate they don’t want to prohibit or limit the sale of fireworks and want to permit the sale of consumer fireworks in accordance with state law.

Those who select 1B indicate they want to enact a local ordinance that would establish limits for the sale of consumer fireworks. The ordinance the town has drafted would only allow the sale in the Topsham Fair Mall, for example.

Voting for option 1C indicates a desire to adopt an ordinance that prohibits the sale of consumer fireworks in town.

Question 2 addresses the use of consumer fireworks and offers three similar choices to the previous questions for voters who again may only select one option.

By voting for Question 2A, voters would indicate that they don’t want to limit or prohibit the use of fireworks, therefore permitting the use of fireworks in accordance with state law.

Voters can select Question 2B if they want to enact an ordinance that would limit the use of consumer fireworks.

A vote for Question 2C indicates a preference to enact an outright ban on the use of consumer fireworks in town.

Topsham residents also will vote on the School Administrative District 75 budget for 2012-13, and will be able to participate in Republican and Democratic party primaries.

The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today in the exhibition hall at the Topsham Fairgrounds.

Other local elections

Residents throughout the Mid-coast region will participate in school budget validation referendums today. Polling times and places are listed on page A3.

In addition to Democratic and Republican party primaries for a U.S. Senate seat and Republican primaries for Maine’s two U.S. House districts, Democrats in House District 106, which includes Freeport and part of Pownal, and House District 62, which covers Bath, will select candidates to represent their party in the November general election.

Sara Gideon, Patrick Norton and Melanie Sachs compete for the Democratic nomination in House District 106. Jennifer DeChant and Paul Johnson vie for the Democratic ballot slot in House District 62.

Elections for municipal office take place today in Dresden, Georgetown, Richmond and Westport Island.

Residents of Wiscasset and Westport Island will vote to determine whether those towns will study withdrawal from Regional School Unit 12.

Wiscasset voters also will settle town meeting warrant articles by secret ballot.

Harpswell voters will vote whether to appropriate $25,000 to deal with collapsed pier moorings at Mitchell Field and on a new ordinance related to food handlers.



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