PERU — Selectmen voted Monday night to get a legal opinion on posting signs at the town office about people recording their visits.

The decision came after Selectmen Richard “Dick” Powell and Ed Ferland insisted such signs are illegal, because selectmen had not approved them.

Town Clerk Vera Parent posted a sign on her office counter which read, “If you wish to record your visit, the other party has the right to be informed prior. Please do so. It is a courtesy.”

Board secretary Kathy Hussey, who is also a selectman, posted the same sign on her desk, but has since removed it.

Parent said her concern is about individual privacy. When several people are in line at the office counter and someone has their recorder on, private information may be recorded, she said.

Board Chairman Tim Holland moved to have Parent check with the Maine Municipal Association for a legal opinion and the motion passed.

In other business, the board reviewed a letter from John Maloney of Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments on the need to update the Comprehensive Plan. Maloney said the plan, adopted March 9, 2007, was inconsistent with the state’s Growth Management Act.

Anyone interested in working on the update is asked to contact the town office.

It was decided to have the moldy ceiling tiles in the town office replaced by Twin Rivers Lumber of Dixfield, and the area cleaned. The mold was due to a leaky roof, which has been replaced by Twin Rivers.

A public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7 on a citizens’ petition that allows for public comment at every selectmen’s meeting. Now, public participation is allowed at every other meeting.

The practice was limited this fall after Holland said meetings had become too disruptive. On Oct. 15, a citizens’ petition was presented asking that public participating be allowed every time the board is in session.

Last month, Ferland moved to have the board return to its prior practice without a town vote, but petitioners objected, saying they wanted a referendum vote, which is set for Jan. 19.

The town office will be closed Dec. 24 and 25, and Jan. 1. The board will meet at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21. There will be no selectmen’s meetings Dec. 24 and 31.


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