MEXICO — Town Manager John Madigan told selectmen Tuesday night that the vote at the special selectmen meeting May 6 to put an article on the June 10 annual town meeting warrant to finish paving work was legal.

Last month, selectmen asked Town Manager John Madigan to determine the cost of finishing paving Back Kingdom Road and Main and Alder streets, with an option to put an article on the town meeting warrant.

Discussion about paving began at the April 8 selectmen meeting, when George Byam suggested an article asking voters to raise and appropriate money to finish paving the roads.

Madigan presented the selectmen with the costs, and a special meeting was scheduled to vote on approving the article.

Madigan said that a few residents called him after the meeting to say they questioned the legality of that vote.

While the selectmen had a quorum during the May 6 vote, Selectman George Byam was in the hospital, Madigan said.

“He called us, and we put him on speakerphone so we could have a discussion about whether or not to put the question on the warrant,” Madigan said. “We ended up voting, and it was approved 3-2. However, some residents believe George should not have been allowed to vote, since he wasn’t there.

“I talked to a woman at the Maine Municipal Association named Amanda, who said that it was legal for us to do that,” Madigan said. “She said that nowadays, towns will do that in special circumstances, with all of the technology we have.”

Selectman Byron Ouellette asked Madigan if they could get her response in writing, “to make it official.”

Madigan agreed.

Ouellette said the town should adopt a policy so that in the future, they can make sure people “don’t take advantage of something like this.”

Byam pointed out that in the several years he had served as selectman, he never called in while he was on vacation or while he was sick.

Chairman Richie Philbrick said “it wouldn’t hurt” to look into drafting a policy for the town in regards to remote voting.

Town office employee and state legislator Sheryl Briggs told selectmen that when the state legislators vote in Augusta, they “are required to be present during the vote,” but only because “they have a policy stating that it’s necessary.”

“I know other municipalities that allow remote voting because they don’t have a policy in place,” Briggs added.

Selectmen unanimously agreed to look into drafting a remote voting policy for the town.

In other business, selectmen unanimously voted to change the intersection of Meadow Street and Kimball Avenue into a four-way stop. It’s now two-way, Madigan said.

Police Chief Roy Hodsdon said he thought a four-way stop was a good idea, and that other two-way stops that were changed to four-way stops worked out very well.

One resident said he supported the four-way stop, since he had seen people “driving like those streets were a drag race.”

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