CHESTERVILLE — Public hearings will be held Thursday, March 9, on an ordinance that would allow voters to recall selectmen from office and on an acceptance of easements to allow the town to maintain Adams and Gordon Hill roads year-round.

The hearings are expected to begin at 7 p.m. after the regular selectmen meeting at the Town Office.

Both measures will be on the warrant for the annual town meeting March 27.

Resident Kim Lessard initiated a petition in November 2016 to establish a recall ordinance. It contained 317 signatures, was certified by the town clerk and presented to selectmen for inclusion on the town warrant.

Because of a misunderstanding by town attorney Frank Underkuffler on when the final wording was due, Lessard said she, Board of Selectmen Chairman Guy Iverson and Underkuffler worked on a final draft Friday and selectmen approved it at an emergency meeting Friday at 3 p.m.

The ordinance requires that:

• At least 10 percent of Chesterville voters who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election must petition the town clerk and state the names of those to be recalled and why.

• The town clerk must notify selectmen of the petition and have copies available at the Town Office for 20 business days for additional signatures.

• At least 20 percent of registered voters must sign the petition and state their place of residence.

• The town clerk must certify the signatures and determine the required number of them within five business days. Once that is done, the petition must be submitted at the next selectmen meeting and the person being recalled notified by mail or in person.

• Within five days of receiving the petition, the board must call a special town meeting in the next 30 to 40 days to act on it. However, if a regular town meeting is scheduled within 60 calendar days, selectmen may place the petition on that warrant instead of calling a special town meeting.

• The number of votes cast must be at least 50 percent of the total votes cast  in town during the last gubernatorial election.

• If a majority approves the recall, it becomes effective the day after the vote. An election must be held within 20 days to fill the vacated seat or seats.

• If selectmen fail or refuse to order an election, one may be called by a notary public on a written petition signed by voters representing at least 10 percent of the number of votes cast in town in the last gubernatorial election, but no less than 10.

Copies of the ordinance are available at the Town Office during regular business hours.

On the issue of maintaining Adams and Gordon Hill roads, town officials have been asking residents along those roads to give written permission for the town to maintain them year-round.

The county stopped maintaining the roads in the 1930s, but it is unclear whether they were discontinued or closed by the town. The town began plowing the roads again several years ago, but the matter was never brought to voters.

Underkuffler advised town officials that they needed to obtain written permission from property owners along the roads and to take the issue to voters. 

Adams Road, which goes from Ridge Road to the Darlene Hamel residence, has 29 property owners along it. Gordon Hill Road, which has 11 property owners, goes from Ridge Road to the Rick Webster residence.

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