MEXICO — The Planning Board attempted to determine the proper number of members necessary to reach a quorum during Thursday evening’s meeting at the Town Office.

The discussion began after Planning Board Chairman Dan Casey brought up that two of the members, Joe Derouche and Joe Patenaude, have not showed up to a meeting for awhile.

“I know that Joe Derouche has been ill, but Joe Patenaude has been missing every meeting for a long time now,” Casey said.

Planning Board member Mabel Merrill said she had only seen Patenaude once since she was appointed to the Planning Board a year and a half ago.

“I don’t want to be mean or anything, but on any of our other boards, if you miss so many consecutive meetings without a valid reason, you’re asked to step down,” Merrill said.

Planning Board member Reggie Arsenault told Merrill, “We can’t do that. We have to go to the Board of Selectmen, since we’re appointed by the board to serve on this committee. We’ll have to approach them and ask who has the right to tell them they can’t serve if they miss a certain amount of meetings.”

Casey pointed out that the Planning Board typically consists of nine members, including two alternates.

“Right now, we need five people to have a quorum,” Casey said. “I think it should be four.”

“If you do four, somewhere along the line, we’re going to need a tiebreaker,” Arsenault said. “Making it so you need four people for a quorum wouldn’t really work.”

Planning Board member David Errington said, “Reggie’s right. It would create a problem.”

“I know Reggie’s right, but I’d still like to change it,” Casey said with a laugh.

 “To make the vote legal,” Arsenault said, “you need to have somebody to break the tie. Otherwise, if there’s no one there to break it, what happens next?”

“You take a vote, and if it ties, you pass it off to the next meeting,” Casey said.

“I don’t think it works that way,” Arsenault said. “We’ve had times where we have four people at a meeting, but we’re not able to take any votes. We just discuss things, but we can’t take a vote.”

Errington said the quorum issue only became a problem “recently, since a couple of our members haven’t been showing up.”

Arsenault suggested the Planning Board ask the Board of Selectmen if a letter could be sent to Patenaude explaining that if he cannot or will not be able to make it to the meetings, to write a letter of resignation.

“It’s just throwing off our votes,” Arsenault said. “If all else fails, we can shift them to alternates and move one of the alternates to a regular position.”

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