Peru petitions seek recall of all 5 selectmen

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PERU — Petitions were presented Monday night with verified signatures to recall selectmen Timothy Holland, Edward Ferland and Richard Powell, the last three of an effort to oust the entire Board of Selectmen.

Last week’s petition presentations were for selectmen Kathy Hussey and Laurieann Milligan.

Reasons for the recalls cited were failure to represent the will of the people and failure to carry out appropriately the duties of the office.

All five petitions will be voted on March 4 with a public hearing scheduled for Feb. 11.

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The Board could approve a shortened time for nomination papers. Some of the Board wanted to stagger the votes, so all wouldn’t possibly be recalled at once, but Holland said the ordinance requires having the vote as soon as possible after the petitions were in and verified.

Powell questioned why it took longer to verify Hussey and Milligan than the others. Parent said those came in during the Christmas holidays and there was little time to get them verified.

In other business, Marie Eastman from the Finance Committee said she was disappointed that there was not enough cooperation between selectmen and the Finance Committee.

“I’m an organizer and I like to be proactive,” Eastman said. “I don’t see the kind of working together that is needed and I will not continue to serve on the Finance Committee.”

The Board reappointed Don Roach and Ed Parent to the Committee, but Powell said it was wrong to have two members on the Committee who had town interests. Roach’s son is Road Commissioner and Parent is the town clerk’s husband.

Eastman also said she was not seeing any dollar savings from the new computer software that she had supported.

Parent responded by saying the system was more efficient but it can’t be measured in dollars and cents. “It takes minutes now to do registrations with motor vehicles and tax payments are reported more efficiently.”

Holland pointed out that the Board now has a ledger updated every two weeks for its review.

Parent said they need someone to train on the program and that takes time. All agreed that is was not smart to have only one person trained in how to use the programs.

Eastman said if the Finance Committee and the Board had been interacting, they could foresee the need for another trained person in the office.

The Board is asking for anyone willing to serve on the Finance Committee to contact the office.

Eastman was not finished with her time on the agenda. She directly addressed Martha Witherell and Dawna Kazregis saying, “This lawsuit is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of in this town. Business cannot be conducted by this Board, if every little thing is questioned. I’m totally against what you guys have done. I used to ask questions and always got the answers.”

On Saturday, Jan. 19, the town votes on the “Open to Public Sessions” ordinance. It will be an open meeting, but no absentee ballots will be available.

Parent said, “You have to be present to vote.” She has also said, people may ask for secret ballots at the special town meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the former Peru School.

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