MEXICO – After learning that Mexico won’t have an ambulance service after June 7, selectmen convened an emergency board meeting Thursday night and unanimously OK’d a special town meeting for the morning of June 7 to revote the issue.

At Wednesday night’s board meeting, they had scheduled the special town meeting for June 9, even though most voters at a May 21 special town meeting refused to renew the contract.

But Chairwoman Barbara Laramee, who notified the Sun Journal of the emergency meeting, told selectmen June 9 is too late.

“As it stands right now, if we have the special town meeting on the 9th, we would have to reapply to be a member of Med-Care,” Laramee said. She referenced an earlier phone conversation she had with Med-Care board President Steve Brown, who had contacted Med-Care’s lawyers.

“As we know, there’s no guarantee on how the (Med-Care) board would vote. So, we’re subject to loss of our assets if they don’t have 80 percent,” Laramee said.

Med-Care needs 80 percent of the population of its 11 member towns to renew the 10-year interlocal agreement or else it will dissolve, Laramee said.

“We need to let the people know just how serious this is, and it’s an extremely serious thing. My concern is that people should be aware that if it doesn’t pass, they won’t have an ambulance service. I don’t believe people want to be without an ambulance service. … The people can vote however they want, though,” she said.

“The whole town ought to be here. This is too serious,” Town Manager John Madigan said. “You need to do this on the 7th, because you’re showing the town that you’ve given them every opportunity.”

Laramee asked Madigan if it is legal to convene a second special town meeting to allow a revote of the issue if a majority at the first special town meeting rejected it.

“Our referendum ordinance says that if voters vote down any money article, selectmen have the right to call only one meeting. But this is different. This is not a money article and you can rehash the same exact information. You’re just voting to renew an agreement. The money part of it is still on the referendum ballot,” Madigan said.

Laramee wanted to know what happens if Rumford voters, who take up the contract on Monday, follow Mexico and Andover’s earlier votes and reject the contract. Andover revisits the issue on June 7.

“If Rumford does not pass it, would we have to cancel this (June 7) meeting?” she asked.

Madigan didn’t know.

“Even if Rumford votes against it, Med-Care still dissolves,” Selectman Arthur Bordeau said.

“The risk that Mexico has is if we do nothing and Rumford votes yes and that sparks Andover to say yes, that leaves us out in the cold. By doing this (revote), you’ve given the town every possible minute to consider it,” Madigan said.

“We’d be reneging our duty if we don’t,” Selectman George Byam said.

“There’s definitely going to be people from the first meeting who will be pretty much adamant that we called this meeting. There’s going to be a group out there who will feel that we didn’t get our way, so we’re having another meeting,” Laramee cautioned.

“We’ve got to do our job and make sure that our townspeople are taken care of,” Selectman Richie Philbrick said.

“It’s the responsibility of the entire town to voice their opinion about whether they want it or not,” Madigan said.

Byam made the motion to convene a special town meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 7, at Mountain Valley Middle School’s auditorium or the gym at the Mexico Recreation Center if the school isn’t available, to consider the ambulance service contract.

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