Recall proposal moves ahead

TREMONT — Selectmen voted 5-0 Tuesday to form a committee to research the need for, and to possibly draft, a recall ordinance that would apply to members of the board of selectmen.

The issue was brought to the board by resident Mel Atherton, who requested that such an ordinance be placed on the warrant for a future town meeting. In August, selectmen voted 3-2 to have Town Manager Dana Reed draft bylaws for a committee.

On Tuesday, selectmen also voted to accept the bylaws and advertise for committee members.

The committee is to consist of seven members. The deadline for applications is Sept. 30, Reed said Wednesday.

According to the bylaws, the committee is to research the need for a recall ordinance, decide how such a document should be worded and, if warranted, submit a draft ordinance for consideration.

Four members would constitute a quorum. The committee’s proceedings would be subject to Maine’s Freedom of Access laws.

Voters would have to approve the recall ordinance for it to go into effect.

Mount Desert is the only town on Mount Desert Island to have a recall ordinance. The grounds for recalling an official are violations involving the Mount Desert town charter or state or federal law or conduct causing a loss of confidence in his or her judgment or ability to perform the duties or responsibilities of the office.

The board also voted to raise the fee for commercial use of the Seal Cove Wharf. The move was prompted by a lobster buyer who now is using the dock as his base.

The fee was $400. In reviewing, the harbor committee recommended that selectmen raise it to $600. Selectmen decided that was not enough and voted to set the fee at $1,000. The lobster buyer will be given credit for the $400 he already has paid, Reed said.

Selectmen also approved the purchase of a new video surveillance system for the Bernard Town Wharf at a cost of $4,800.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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