Peru recall petitions official; chairman presented documents

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PERU — Two petitions asking that Selectmen Kathy Hussey and Laurieann Milligan be recalled from office were declared official Monday night.

The petitions were initiated by Tammy Ferland, wife of Selectman Ed Ferland, said Town Clerk Vera Parent, who presented them to Board of Selectmen Chairman Tim Holland at Monday night’s board meeting. One was signed by 106 voters; the other by 110, she said. All names were verified as residents of the town.

The documents were submitted to the town on Dec. 21, 2012.

Each petition listed the reasons for requesting a recall, Parent said, but generally both say Hussey and Milligan are not doing what they were elected to do.

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They were elected to three-year terms. Hussey’s ends in June 2014; it was unclear Monday night when Milligan’s ends.

“What’s with all these petitions? asked resident Dan Wing. “This is getting out of hand and it seems to be personal vendettas. Why don’t you all grow up and stop this,” he said.

Another petition calling for an ordinance to allow a 20-minute public comment period near the end of every selectmen’s meeting was presented Oct. 15 by Martha Witherell and Dawna Kazregis.

On Monday night, the board voted to hold a special town meeting at 11 a.m. Jan. 19 at the former Peru Elementary School to vote on the ordinance.

The Town of Peru Ordinance Open to the Public Sessions requires that comments or questions be directed to the chairman or to a specific selectman who will recognize each speaker in turn. Speakers must identify themselves.

People wanting to speak on a specific issue in a more formal manner may be put on the agenda if they contact the office on Thursday before the Monday meeting.

The board meets every Monday, but public comments were limited to twice a month starting last June, after Chairman Tim Holland said meetings had become too disruptive.

On Monday night, the board voted to recommend that the ordinance not be adopted.

During public comment at Monday’s meeting, Valerie Gurney spoke at length on her complaint of unfair valuation of her home, for property tax purposes.

Also Monday night, the board reappointed Jack Plumley as code enforcement officer, David Errington as plumbing inspector, Susan Milligan as animal control officer and Parent as registrar of voters.

After the meeting, the board held a public hearing on the public sessions ordinance with few people attending. Valerie Gurney said no one knew about the meeting, but Holland said it was publicized in several places.

Kazregis spoke for the ordinance, saying petitioners wanted it passed so people are assured a voice in town government.

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