Newburgh Town Hall Meeting Draws Crowd 

A new budget was voted on Saturday at the Newburgh town meeting, but it’s what happened over the past year that has people particularly interested. Newburgh’s former Deputy Town Treasurer, Cindy Dunton, was charged with stealing more than $200,000. This brought major changes to the town and how involved its citizens are in town government. “Due to recent events we’ve become involved in it. We’ve been looking through the numbers and trying to understand what’s been going on in the town and trying to understand what led to this embezzlement last year,” said Newburgh Resident Claude Bolduc.Last week a new town selectman was elected beating out incumbent Stanley Smith. “I think the citizens were upset with how the former selectman was running our town. I think it speaks volumes that they voted me in,” said Town Selectman, Michael Burns. The town also voted on three citizen petitions: one to give the town the ability to recall elected officials, one to increase the number of selectmen, and finally a petition to have a selectmen’s administrative assistant instead of a town manager. “Those will allow more oversight by the selectmen and the citizens cause the selectman do answer to the citizens where a manager answers to the 3 selectmen,” said Burns. Town Manager Rick Briggs says he is happy that more citizens are coming out to the annual town meeting and letting their opinions on the budget be known. “I’m pleased with the turnout certainly it’s nice to see people involved,” said Briggs.”We’ve had town meetings here before with only 20 people in the audience. I mean to get what looks like 150-200 people is great because that shows more of the citizens are out and being involved,” said Burns.As for last year’s controversy, Burns and Briggs agree that the town must continue forward in a positive way. “Obviously it’s time to move on and this hurt and anger is just going to continue to harm the town and slow progress,” said Briggs.It’s progress that town citizens hope they’ll have a major say in.