MEXICO — The Board of Selectmen voted 3-1 Tuesday evening to ask the Planning Board to draft a recall ordinance for the town.

Selectman Reggie Arsenault was the lone dissenter, while Selectman Peter Merrill abstained from voting because he arrived after the discussion was held.

During an Aug. 29 Planning Board meeting, resident Albert Aniel attempted to submit a recall ordinance, saying the town “needed an ordinance to be able to remove selectmen if they were not acting in the best interest of the voters, abusing their position, acted inappropriately or were convicted of a crime.”

The recall ordinance was shot down by a 4-3 vote at that meeting.

Since then, a citizens’ petition containing nearly 150 signatures was submitted to the Board of Selectmen earlier in the week, asking them to create a recall ordinance.

Town Manager John Madigan told selectmen Tuesday that he sent the petition to the town attorney for his opinion. The attorney said that the petition “did not present a particular article” that the town could act on, Madigan said.


“Legally, I do not believe the select board has to go forward with this petition,” the town attorney said in his email response. “The select board always has the ability to prepare a recall ordinance and an article for presentation to the voters.”

Later, Madigan added, “You can’t just have a recall ordinance without provisions. You need to explain how it’ll be done, provide definitions for the provisions, or give how many signatures are required to recall someone. This petition doesn’t do any of that.”

Aniel told Madigan and the board that the petition was not an ordinance, in and of itself, but was a “request that the selectmen come up with a recall ordinance themselves.”

“The recall ordinance is a generic tool that every town ought to have, especially if something happens untoward, like a misbehavior or something like that,” Aniel said. “How do you recall such a person if something like that happens?”

Selectman George Byam agreed that the town “should have a valid policy in effect,” and suggested that the selectmen ask the Planning Board to move forward with a recall ordinance.

“Let’s instruct the Planning Board to adopt an ordinance regarding this subject, let them work on it and bring it back so we can go through it,” Byam said.


Selectman Byron Ouellette then made a motion for the Board of Selectmen to ask the Planning Board to look into drafting a recall ordinance for the town.

Arsenault, who is also a member of the Planning Board, said he would bring it up with the rest of the board during Thursday’s meeting.

In other business, the board also unanimously voted to approve a liquor license for the Covered Wagon Restaurant.

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