Peru recalls four out of five selectmen

PERU — Residents voted Monday to recall Selectmen Edward Ferland, Richard Powell, Tim Holland and Kathy Hussey, putting them out of office immediately.

Another Peru vote
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Jim Worthington drops his special ballot into the ballot box at the Peru Town Office on Monday afternoon during the much anticipated — and much fought over — recall vote of all five selectmen.

Another Peru vote
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Joan DesRoches of Peru makes her way down the hall of the Peru Town Office to cast her vote Monday afternoon during the much anticipated — and much fought over — recall vote of all five selectmen.

Another Peru vote
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Nancy Knox of Peru casts her vote at the Peru Town Office on Monday afternoon during the much anticipated — and much fought over — recall vote of all five selectmen.

Another Peru vote
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

A sample ballot posted in the hall of the Peru Town office Monday afternoon during the much anticipated, and much fought over, recall vote of all five selectmen.

The votes were: Ferland, 234-210; Holland, 225-221; Hussey, 271-178; and Powell, 250-193.

Selectman Laurieann Milligan was not recalled. That vote was 217-193.

Hussey said Monday night that she was "fine" with the result.

"The only reason I stayed in it was for the public hearing," she said. "Now that the public hearing is over, I'm out, I'm done."

She said she is concerned for the direction of the town, though.

"Hopefully, some good people will step up to the plate," she said.

"The 'nasties' want to run the town, we'll let them," Hussey said. "They won't be able to blame me anymore."

After a full day of voting and a year of contentious debate regarding the board, a tired Hussey said, "They've got what they wanted."

The petitions to remove all five selectmen began after Hussey refused to leave her board position or town secretarial position, after voters passed an ordinance in November 2012 saying town employees could not simultaneously hold positions on the Board of Selectmen or Finance Committee.

The Maine Municipal Association advised selectmen last year that Hussey could finish her current term.

Hussey was not the only ousted selectmen to comment after the votes were announced.

Ferland expressed regret that voters may have gone to the polls without all the information.

"The people voiced their opinion, I guess," he said. "You can't change it, you can't reverse it."

When asked about the future direction of Peru, Ferland was direct: "I hope the new board takes control; gets it under control."

He referred to the board as "running wild."

When asked if he would consider getting back into Peru politics, Ferland sighed, "I'm probably going to take a rest for a few days."

Powell surmised that the arguments among board members had gone on so long that perhaps people just stopped listening.

"They see us arguing," he said, "maybe they made the right decision for dumping us. I think they just said the heck with all of us."

He also said he didn't like the "nastiness" of public officials "and what they tell reporters."

Thinking about the future direction of the town, he said, "It isn't about me. If I'm out, I'm out. We're on a new path now. Some people may jump in and run again.

But, he said, "They have got to get some people there who want to do the job."

Holland, who was chairman of the board, could not be reached for comment Monday night.

The board had agreed earlier to set up a special election as quickly as possible, if any of them were recalled. Town Clerk Vera Parent said Monday that there will be a shortened time for nomination papers to be available, but no decision has been made on how long that will be.

According to the Maine Municipal Association, a notary public has the authority under state law to call for that election and it can typically be organized and held in less than a month.

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Comments

 's picture

who pays for it?

According to the Maine Municipal Association, a notary public has the authority under state law to call for that election and it can typically be organized and held in less than a month.

remember folks...you too can hire a notary of the public for a special town meet.

 's picture

First new order of business

First new order of business should be to dump the MMA , they are not for the people.

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