RUMFORD — The Board of Selectmen reviewed the Charter Commission’s final recommendations for charter revisions Tuesday evening during a public hearing.

The nine-member commission, chaired by Christopher Brennick, was formed in the fall of 2013 to review the 1951 document and recommend changes.

A major concern Tuesday was how the revisions would be presented on the June 9 ballot.

Selectman Mark Belanger asked Brennick whether residents would vote on the entire list of recommendations as a whole or on each revision individually.

Brennick said the revisions would be voted on in sections. The commission agreed on this method so “the entire charter won’t get voted down because of one problematic revision.”

Some items might be contentious, he said. 


Town attorney Jennifer Kreckel said one thing selectmen had to consider about the charter revision article was whether to include an option to revoke the charter entirely.

“The way I had envisioned it was that the first question on the article would ask residents if they wish to revoke the charter,” Kreckel said. “If they vote yes, there would need to be a second question asking what type of government they would want to institute for the town.”

Kreckel said if the charter was revoked, the town would need “some form of government” to replace it. The options would be a Board of Selectmen form of government or a town manager form of government.

“If people voted no, they would then go through the rest of the ballot and vote on the charter revisions,” Kreckel said.

Chairman Greg Buccina said that form of voting would be “pretty darn confusing” for residents.

“I never said it would be the simplest solution, but it gives residents the option to stick  with a revised charter or to revoke it,” Kreckel said.


Fire Chief Robert Chase suggested the article be worded in a way that would allow a charter revocation to become effective the following year.

“That would give you a period of time to prepare and come up with a couple of different plans to put in front of voters,” Chase said.

Kreckel agreed to draft the wording of the article and put it before the Charter Commission for a vote as soon as possible.

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