PARIS – The property owner who is contesting the selectmen’s resolution to have him pave a short road to his subdivision approached the board Monday night to again challenge the decision.

“Since Mr. Kilgore was not here the last evening, am I allowed to ask him a question?” the subdivision owner, Chris Stearns, said, referring to selectman Gerald Kilgore’s absence at previous meeting where a number of people came out to protest the town’s handling of Stearns’ case. The citizens filled the small town office that night.

“I would just like him to keep a straight face and deny he has any conflict of interest,” Stearns finished.

Kilgore said he had no comment in response to Stearns’ question.

The matter has already been bumped up to Oxford County Superior Court, where the town has filed a civil suit against Stearns.

The issue here is Stearns’ 650-foot road leading to his three-acre subdivision where he has built one house and would like to build another. In order to get a building permit, the town is insisting he pave the road, because all subdivision roads need to be paved by the developer, according to town ordinance.

But his road is connected to two other dirt roads, Mason Drive and Kilgore Road, which are both private. After the board of appeals gave Stearns the OK not to pave his road, selectmen stepped in by voting to pursue the matter in court. They are challenging Stearns, despite the fact that he got approval from a town body.

Town Manager Sharon Jackson has said it is important that subdivision owners abide by the law so residents don’t pick up the costs of subdivision roads.

Now Stearns is saying that Kilgore should not have been included in the vote selectmen took to take the matter to court. He says that because Kilgore has a dispute with a nearby land owner, on whose land Stearns’ road crosses, that Kilgore should abstain from voting.

Stearns maintains that a perceived bias should cause enough concern among other board members that they ask Kilgore to step aside from voting.

At the previous meeting, Selectman William Merrill did ask board members whether they would reconsider their vote because of Kilgore’s alleged conflict of interest. The board opted not to.

Jackson said Kilgore’s vote is legal and that he has no conflict of interest.

When Kilgore was reached by phone after the selectmen’s Monday meeting, he said that he has a disagreement with Calvin Mason, who owns property abutting Stearns and Kilgore. Stearns bought his three-acre parcel from Mason last spring.

But Kilgore denied having a bias in this matter. “They’re just trying to get around things,” he said.

Stearns told selectmen at the meeting, “You people are absolutely impenetrable.”

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