MEXICO — The Board of Selectmen voted 2-1 Tuesday to appoint seven residents to the Recall Ordinance Committee.

They are Albert Aniel, Lisa Arsenault, Aaron Cummings, Amanda Hamner, Marie Naples, Marjorie Richard and Clifford Stuart.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Richie Philbrick and Selectman Byron Ouellette will also serve on the committee, with Town Manager John Madigan attending as an adviser.

During an Aug. 29 Planning Board meeting, 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 ordinance was rejected in a 4-3 vote at that meeting.

Since then, a petition containing nearly 150 signatures of residents was submitted to selectmen, and on Sept. 24 the board voted to have the Planning Board draft a recall ordinance.

The Planning Board voted against drafting it and left it in selectmen’s hands.

On Oct. 8, selectmen voted to create the Recall Ordinance Committee.

Ouellette and Selectman George Byam voted for the seven committee appointments, Selectman Reggie Arsenault voted against.

Philbrick abstained from voting, as did Peter Merrill, because he applied for the committee.

Arsenault originally made a motion for the board to accept Arsenault, Cummings, Hamner, Naples and Stuart, along with Merrill and his wife, Mabel Merrill.

Following Arsenault’s motion, Aniel said, “Considering that I’m the one that came up with this to begin with, not including me in the list is insulting, and I want the record to show that.”

Aniel later added that electing another selectman to a committee that already had two selectman appointed would be a bad idea.

“We already have two selectmen, so what’s the purpose of loading that committee with more selectmen?” he asked the board. “I think we’re trying to work together and trying to have a good recall ordinance. I don’t think we should have people on the committee that didn’t want to have this done to begin with. I think you should have people on the ordinance who are interested in it.”

Philbrick said, “At the time we came up with the idea, we said that we would have two selectmen on the board. That’s what we discussed at the time, and then we said we were going to get some other people involved.

“Nothing against Peter, or any of the other people on the board, but I think when you have three people on the committee who are selectmen, then you’re having a selectmen’s meeting,” Philbrick said. “I just don’t agree with that. That’s just my opinion.”

In response to a comment by Arsenault that Aniel was biased in joining the recall ordinance, Philbrick said, “I don’t think this recall ordinance will be darted at any selectman in particular. I think in order to do this properly, we need to work together as a team. It doesn’t mean that we have to go by what Dr. Aniel says. We work together, as a committee. One person will not run the committee.”

After discussion on Arsenault’s original motion, the Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 against it.

Byam then suggested the roster of Aniel, Arsenault, Cummings, Hamner, Naples, Richard and Stuart, which the board approved.

The first Recall Ordinance Committee meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Town Office.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.