GREENE — A petition from residents seeking to amend the town manager plan to open the transfer station on Sundays and create a process to remove town officials has hit a dead end following a letter from town legal counsel which deemed the petition invalid.

“(The) petition is invalid and of no effect because the subject matter of the petition is contrary to state law,” according to a letter to former Town Manager Darlene Beaulieu and signed by Lee Bragg of the law firm Bernstein Shur. “The petitioners should advise that the town will not be taking any further legal action in regard to the petition, such as verifying signatures.”

State law does not allow town residents to change the town manager plan.

According to state statutes, “once adopted, the Town Manager Plan remains in effect until revoked at a town meeting held at least 90 days before the annual meeting unless the voters of the town adopt a charter.”

The petitioners have two options. They can try to repeal the town manager plan or write a town charter, which includes their desired amendments.

A charter is a legal document which lays the governing foundation of a municipality.


The letter was written a day after Robert Rowe and several other residents submitted the petition to the town for verification.

Rowe said he isn’t sure how he and the other residents involved will proceed. He thought it was unfair that their petition, which had about 330 signatures, could be invalidated so easily.

“I just feel like the town lawyer stopping it right at the front gate, and (he) has bias, in my opinion, because they’re looking out for the best interests of the town,” Rowe said. “They don’t want citizens changing that and the law of the land.”

He contacted Greene’s state representative to ask their opinion on the matter.

“We will not stand in the way of anyone who wants to pass a petition,” Select Board Chairperson Anthony Reny said Tuesday. “But it also has to pass legal muster.”

“We have to do our due diligence to make sure … it meets the letter of law,” he added.

Still, a major goal of the petition was to create a process which residents could use to remove the town manager, Rowe said, in addition to reinstating Sunday transfer station hours.

Beaulieu retired Friday after two years with the town.

Rowe said he was unsure whether they would continue to pursue the changes as a result.

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