POLAND — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday accepted a citizen recall petition that seeks to remove three of its members.

The petition, submitted earlier this month with 188 signatures, calls for a vote to remove Selectmen Jim Fernald, Larry Moreau and Wendy Sanborn, who voted to dismiss former Town Manager Rosemary Kulow.

The petitioners, several of whom were present Tuesday evening, have accused the three of violating their oaths of office by not following the proper process when they fired Kulow.

Selectmen Steve Robinson and Lester Stevens voted against the firing.

Questioning the legality of the Oct. 16 firing, resident Stan Tetenman noted the legal opinion of the town attorney concerning the firing that Sanborn read at the Nov. 20 board meeting was dated Nov. 19.

“It appears that you did not have legal counsel prior to the firing, so you sought a legal opinion after the fact to justify this illegal action,” Tetenman said.


Moreau suggested Tetenman go to Kulow to see if she would agree to meet with selectmen in an open session to discuss the particulars of what went on during executive sessions that preceded the board’s action.

“Hold the meeting right here, on television, any time, during the day or evening. I’ll be here whenever,” Moreau said.

Resident David Corcoran also questioned the process followed by the board, calling its decision to fire Kulow “without cause” as simply “not right.”

“The reason (for the recall) isn’t you fired the town manager; it’s that you violated your oath by not following process,” Corcoran said.

After accepting the petition, selectmen agreed to hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, to discuss the recall. After that the board will sign a warrant to be posted Dec. 19. The vote will be Thursday, Jan. 3, with polls open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. People will decide whether to remove any or all three selectmen.

In other business, selectmen:


* Approved a purchase and sales agreement to buy property at 1217 Maine St. It is the so-called Walker property, the large red house between Ricker Library and the Town Hall.

Voters at an April town meeting approved spending up to $180,000 for the property. Selectmen had been taken to task recently for failing to consummate the deal, with several residents concerned the town might lose the opportunity to have complete control over land from the library to the Town Office.

The vote authorized Town Manager Rosemary Roy to attend to closing the deal at the agreed-upon price of $175,000.

* Appointed Cherie Sargent as town treasurer, approved a five-month probationary agreement hiring Roy as town manager, agreed to continue to contract with the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office for dispatch services, and asked Roy to set up a workshop meeting with Mechanic Falls Town Council members to iron out details of a joint public works service agreement.

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