NEW GLOUCESTER — A citizen-initiated petition is in the works to limit selectmen to three consecutive three-year terms.

So far, 425 signatures of registered voters have been collected, said Selectman Stephen Hathorne, who is part of a group spearheading the effort.

Hathorne confirmed many signatures were collected at the polls on Tuesday.

According to Deputy Town Clerk Kim Getchell, 283 valid signatures are needed to meet the 10 percent requirement of voters in the last gubernatorial election.

Once the petition is submitted to town officials, signatures will be verified. If the requirement is met, the question goes to voters at a town meeting to enact an ordinance.

The petition includes a clause that, if approved, means two selectmen would be prohibited from immediately running for office after their terms are completed.

Selectman Linda Chase, who will have served 10 continuous years when her term ends in 2018, and Selectman Steven Libby, who will have served 15 consecutive years when his terms ends in 2019, would be prohibited from running again for selectman for at least three years, under the proposal.

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