PARIS – After a discussion of potential conflict of interest Monday, selectmen filled two vacant alternate positions for the Planning Board.

Selectmen approved Jean Smart and Ron Fitts as alternate members by votes of 3-2.

The appointments were tabled from the last selectmen’s meeting Feb. 25, when Fitts was the only applicant for the position. Fitts said then that he had applied for the position only four hours before.

Selectman Raymond Glover opposed the appointment at the Feb. 25 meeting, saying it presented a potential conflict of interest. Fitts is the brother of Ernest Fitts III, the chairman of the selectmen.

At Monday’s meeting, Ernest Fitts and Selectman David Ivey read letters from town attorneys at Kurtz and Perry stating that a conflict of interest exists if a person on a board has a 10 percent financial interest in the issue being discussed. The attorneys recommended that the person disclose any financial interest and recuse themselves from the vote if their interest was 10 percent or higher.

Glover maintained his opposition, saying the approval would create the perception of a conflict of interest.

Smart was approved with Glover, Ivey and Gerald Kilgore voting for her and Fitts and Glen Young voting against.

Ernest Fitts III said he had no financial interest with his brother and refused to abstain from the vote after Ron Fitts was nominated by Ivey.

“I’m not recusing myself,” he said. “It’s just different opinions on different things.”

Ron Fitts was approved with his brother, Ivey and Young voting for him and Glover and Kilgore voting against.

The board also approved a liquor license for the Paris Hill Country Club.


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