Police called after tempers flare at Paris board meeting

A Paris man shouts at selectmen before leaving the Paris Fire Station at a Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday. Frank Paul (foreground) initially left but returned to speak about conditions on Ryerson Hill Road.
Tony Reaves | Sun Journal
A Paris man shouts at selectmen before leaving the Paris Fire Station at a Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday. Frank Paul (foreground) initially left but returned to speak about conditions on Ryerson Hill Road.
Posted Oct. 12, 2011, at 5:39 a.m.

PARIS, Maine — Tensions over road repairs exploded Tuesday and police were called to a Board of Selectmen meeting.

After heated words from two residents, board Chairman Ted Kurtz recessed the meeting and called police to remove two men who were angry about being asked to speak only briefly about roads.

One man was concerned that the agenda said the board would take action on roads.

“You’re going to have action of roads and we can’t talk about it before?” he asked.

Kurtz assured him the board wouldn’t take “substantial” action.

“You will be quiet,” he said. “This meeting is a meeting of the Board of Selectmen.

There is an opportunity for citizens to comment when, and if, they are recognized by the chairman of the board.”

When a man began to speak again, Kurtz brought down the gavel and declared the meeting recessed. “I’m going to call the police,” he said.

“We all pay taxes,” a man and a woman each said.

“They rebuild the good roads, and my road is sh—,” one man shouted on the way out.

The two men left before police arrived. A third man walked out but returned to speak calmly about the condition of Ryerson Hill Road. Frank Paul, who lives off that road, said the ditches in his neighborhood haven’t been cleaned in years.

“I was almost arrested two years ago for cleaning the ditches myself,” he said. Paul said he is a small business owner and he has had people tell him they won’t visit his home business because of the road’s condition.

“I wouldn’t want to be transported in an ambulance down that road,” he said.

Paul said the two men who left the meeting lived in the Ryerson Hill Road neighborhood, but he declined to give their names.

Paris police remained outside the fire station for most of the remainder of the meeting.

The board will hold a public hearing on roads at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24. On Nov. 14. A special town meeting will be held to ask townspeople how much they want to spend on road improvements. Both meetings will take place at the Paris Fire Station.

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