RUMFORD – Selectmen will not challenge an appeals board ruling made last week that reinstated the eight-member Charter Commission.

Earlier this month, selectmen voted to discontinue the panel that is revising the town’s governing document.

The appeals board’s findings of fact were distributed to selectmen, the Charter Commission and town attorney Tom Carey on Tuesday.

The Board of Appeals, by a vote of 3-1 with one abstention, overturned the selectmen’s 3-2 vote to dismiss all eight charter commission members Feb. 19.

Selectman Mark Belanger, who voted to dismiss commission members, said Tuesday that he will not seek a court appeal.

“It wouldn’t be good for the town. No more litigation,” he said.

Voting with Belanger were Selectmen Frank DiConzo and Arthur Boivin. DiConzo could not be reached for comment. Boivin declined to comment.

Selectman Brad Adley and Chairman Greg Buccina voted not to dismiss the commission.

Appeals board Vice Chairman Kevin Saisi chaired the Feb. 19 hearing. He said Tuesday that appeals board members Leonard McKenna, Harry Powers and Jeremy Vashaw attended a special meeting Monday to review the findings of fact written by attorney Linda McGill of the Portland law firm of Bernstein and Shur.

Robert Richard, who had voted to overturn the selectmen’s action, was unable to attend Monday’s meeting.

Vashaw was the only appeals board member who voted to back selectmen.

Saisi said selectmen have 10 days to appeal the board’s decision.

Joseph Roberts, chairman of the Board of Appeals, stepped down from that post during the Feb. 19 hearing because he also sits on the Charter Commission. He said Tuesday afternoon that the commission plans to meet Thursday when they will set dates for two public hearings on the commission’s recommended changes.

Voters are expected to act on the recommendations during the June elections.

The dismissal of commission members and the appeals hearing was prompted by a complaint lodged by Carlo Puiia, who claimed that the commission did not keep accurate and complete records of their meetings, and violated several sections of the town’s charter and ordinances.


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