The board of remaining selectmen in Paris must do voters a favor and call a special meeting to take visible, formal action on Selectman Troy Ripley’s resignation.

It’ll take five minutes, and would clear confusion before next week’s elections to recall Ripley and three other selectmen.

Ripley submitted a brief letter of resignation to the board one hour before its scheduled meeting Tuesday, and the board informally discussed the letter but did not act to accept it. Ripley could choose, under the law, to rescind his resignation at any time before the board takes action on his letter.

According to Town Manager Philip Tarr, the board appears to have taken formal action, as indistinct as it was, by talking about setting an election date to fill Ripley’s seat. Selectmen didn’t set a date because, until next week’s recall elections, they don’t know how many replacements the town may need. So, it seemed prudent to wait.

Prudent, but terribly confusing.

The informal discussion about needing some future election is not enough for voters to know for certain that the recall vote for Ripley is moot. Or not. Or might be.

Selectmen can very quickly clarify this by taking a vote before the Feb. 5 recall. After the political upheaval Paris has experienced since the last election, it’s the very least selectmen can do to serve their constituents.

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