NEWRY — It seemed weird late Thursday afternoon when Newry selectmen Chairman Wendy Hanscom read prepared statements about her resignation and that of Selectman Gary Wight from the board.

Then, Hanscom and Wight and Selectman Brooks Morton accepted the resignations. But all three continued their special selectmen meeting, conducting further business.

Hanscom’s and Wight’s resignations, received and accepted at Thursday’s meeting, are effective as of June 9, the day before a secret ballot election to fill the vacancies. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 10 in the Town Hall.

Hanscom and Wight had to resign because Newry changed its method of voting by adopting the secret ballot method in August 2012. Then, the town didn’t use that method when electing Hanscom and Wight and SAD 44 School Board members Bonnie Largess and Deb Webster.

To prevent any potential issues, the town’s attorney advised the board on March 18 that all four who were elected in 2013 and 2014 should resign.

Largess and Webster resigned due to the error in the election process, and then selectmen reappointed them to finish out their terms until March 2015.

But a special, shortened nomination process and election had to be held for Hanscom’s three-year term from March 2014 and Wight’s remaining two years from his election in March 2013.

They and any other Newry resident who wants to run for their seats can take out nomination papers when the town office opens on Friday, May 9. Administrator Loretta Powers said she would have the papers available that morning.

“Are we supposed to sign our own (resignation letter)?” Wight asked of how to accept it as a selectman.

“I don’t know,” Hanscom said. Then, she jokingly asked Morton, “You’re alright? You don’t want to resign, too?”

“I thought about it,” Morton said.

“For solidarity,” Hanscom said, laughing. “We’re all doing it until at least the 10th. Well, you know what I mean.”

Hanscom said Morton didn’t have to resign because he was elected before the town changed its voting rules. His term expires in March 2015.

Selectmen on Thursday also unanimously approved a shortened nomination process from Friday to Tuesday, May 20. Nomination papers must have a minimum of 10 signatures and a maximum of 25. They are to be returned to the town office by 5 p.m. on May 20.

The board then approved a warrant for secret ballot election on June 10 at the Town Office to elect a moderator and two selectmen.

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