In less than an hour Saturday, Dresden voters approved the proposed annual budget, including funding salaries for the Town Office staff that are expected to be appointed shortly. 

Approving the budget — including $60,340 in salaries and benefits for the appointed officials — was the final action voters needed to take to complete the switch from elected Town Office personnel to appointed staff. The salaries for the elected town clerk, treasurer and property tax collectors’ salaries were cut from the spending plan. 

The town’s $987,193 spending plan also included an additional $91,100 to be spent on the town’s highway budget. 

First Selectwoman Trudy Foss said, in the past, Town Meetings have taken up to two hours to complete. This year, she said Michael Henderson, the town’s administrative assistant, combined some warrant articles to reduce the number of votes to be cast. 

Bob Lenna, the moderator, also proposed grouping several of the administrative articles to be considered into a single motion. 

Dresden residents voted at a special town meeting in March to change how the town office would be staffed. The positions of town clerk and tax collector were advertised, and candidates have been interviewed. 

Henderson, who is slated to become town administrator as part of the change in staffing, said an announcement on hiring the clerk and tax collector is expected when the selectmen meet Monday. 

Town Meeting, held at Pownalborough Hall, drew about 42 people, 37 of whom were voters. 

Foss said Gerald Lilly, who was elected as second selectman, was sworn in at the end of Saturday’s meeting. 

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