PARIS – Two town ordinances were passed at a special town meeting Monday while a third was overwhelmingly voted down.

The addressing ordinance and Appeals Board ordinance passed without discussion, but the Planning Board ordinance was defeated. The addressing ordinance was last approved in 1997, while the other ordinances were last approved in 1968.

At issue with the planning ordinance was a rule that says neither a municipal officer nor his or her spouse may serve on the Planning Board. Jackie Young, wife of Selectman Glen Young, is a member of the Planning Board.

Town Manager Sharon Jackson said Jackie Young would need to resign immediately if the ordinance passed.

“What we’re saying here is Jackie Young has a credibility issue, and I find that unacceptable,” resident Troy Ripley said.

Franca Ainsworth said the law was not targeting the Youngs, who she described as “great people.”

“It has nothing against them,” she said. “Sometimes the law is blind.”

Jackson said the ordinance was drafted while Jackie Young was on the Planning Board and that she didn’t have any objection to it.

The ordinances were sent to the appeals and planning boards in April, and Glen Young was elected selectman in June.

Jackson said the same condition is required by state law for the Appeals Board. She said while it is not required for the Planning Board, several other towns have added it. Under the revised ordinance, the appointment, tenure and vacancy rules for the Planning Board would have been identical to those of the Appeals Board.

Resident Bruce Hansen asked how the town would manage a situation in which an unmarried couple could hold the positions. He also asked if there was a state law preventing a husband and wife from serving as selectmen at the same time. Jackson said there was not.

Selectman David Ivey said a conflict of interest situation could be resolved easily.

“If a conflict of interest arose, either one could abstain or step down,” Ivey said. “I’d like to see this not pass.”

Those voting against the ordinance included Ivey and Chairman Ernest Fitts III. Glen and Jackie Young were not at the meeting.

Jackson said the ordinance would be rewritten and brought to another town meeting.

“The one we have on the books is outdated,” she said.


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