RUMFORD — Before continuing work Tuesday night to revise the 1951 Charter, commission members spent about 40 minutes rehashing their operational workings.

Seven of the initial nine members were present, a fact that concerned member Michael Peter Chase.

“A couple of members have missed several meetings in a row,” he said without naming them.

He asked Co-Chairmen Chris Brennick and Kevin Saisi if they knew if the two absent members had legitimate reasons for missing meetings. Both said they didn’t know but would look into it.

That issue came up at the end of the meeting, long after the commission discussed seeking an extension from December 2014 to June 2015 to complete their task.

Member Roger Viger Jr. wanted them to finish their work this year, believing it could be done.

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“Let’s get it done,” he said.

But other members said they doubted they could complete their mandate from voters by December. That also raised the issue that the commission was supposed to file a preliminary report on their revisions in July, but nobody at first wanted to draft the report.

Brennick said they “definitely need an extension” and also need to write the report. But they still have to meet with town attorney Jennifer Kreckel and Town Clerk and Treasurer Beth Bellegarde.

Member Eric Davis said the preliminary report must be prepared within nine months and a final report completed 12 months after the election of the commission. Six members were elected in November; the other three were appointed by selectmen in October.

“The final report will likely get pushed back if we get an extension,” Brennick said.

Saisi said he has been briefing selectmen periodically on the commission’s progress. He and Brennick asked member and secretary Richard Greene to draft the preliminary report, but Greene declined, as did member Amy Bernard.

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That led to another discussion about how the commission goes through the charter to make revisions. Greene said it should be sequentially; Saisi argued for segmentally, because some sections affect other sections. They also rehashed how they would present their revisions to voters.

“We don’t want to put everything in one question,” Saisi said. “That’s the quickest way to get it flushed down the toilet if someone doesn’t like one or more things. We’ve been trying to go sequentially, but it doesn’t work.”

He suggested one article for each revision, but Bernard and Chase objected, saying that would take voters too long to go through.

Greene suggested only placing revisions to controversial sections on the ballot.

“We need to be decisive as much as we possibly can,” he said.

Chase suggested asking Kreckel to determine how to put revisions before voters.

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After more discussion, Saisi and Brennick succeeded in getting Greene to provide them with meeting minutes so they could prepare the preliminary report.

Davis reiterated commission rules, saying they don’t have to submit the report to selectmen, just the town.

Brennick said they should schedule a work session to review the preliminary report once he and Saisi prepare it.

Saisi also provided an update on the commission’s budget of $5,000. He said their current balance is $4,100, but they need not worry about overrunning it, because he believed the commission could use contingency funds should that happen.

Chase suggested not using it, because they will undoubtedly have to pay Kreckel for time spent advising them on legalities of revisions and drafting a ballot.

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