HAMPDEN, Maine — There was an uncommon amount of agreement at Monday night’s regular meeting of the Town Council, which set Monday, Nov. 28, as the date, 1 p.m. as the time and the town office’s council chamber as the place for the recount of District 2 ballots requested by challenger Mark Gray.
Town Manager Susan Lessard and Town Clerk Denise Hodsdon affirmed that both Gray and incumbent councilor Thomas Brann can be on hand to watch the recount — along with the public — behind a guardrail as two people designated by Brann and two more people designated by Gray count ballots. The recount also will be supervised by town attorney Thomas Russell.
A review of all district ballots showed that five ballots were distributed to the wrong districts. Brann won District 2 with 304 votes to Gray’s 285.
In the unanimous votes, the council also voted to:
• Table acceptance of the Nov. 8, 2011, election results until the next council meeting (Dec. 5) pending Monday’s recount.
• Approve the planning and development committee’s recommendation to approve a conservation open space easement proposal offered by Billington LLC as part of its Chicadee Crossing housing subdivision project in the former Crestwood Trailer Park site off Route 1A.
• Accept possession of and responsibility for the easement plots of land from Billington, pending final documentation.
• Approve Betsy Poulin as registered landscape architect for design and consulting services for the marina development project and approve an amount not to exceed $9,500, paid from the town’s Chevron cleanup grant escrow account.
• Approve In Depth Archaeology of Lewiston to provide phase one archaeological survey services mandated by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission for the marina project and authorize the expenditure of $6,300 to cover costs, with funds also coming from the Chevron cleanup grant escrow account.
• Accept a request for an excused absence notice by Mayor and Councilor Janet Hughes from Monday night’s meeting.
• Approve a liquor license for Angelo’s Pizzeria on Main Road South.
Councilor Jean Lawlis spoke during the councilors’ public comment session to take issue with suggestions by email, text or phone calls from residents that any ulterior motives or conspiracies were the cause of mistakes made in issuing district ballots, pointing to and commending the expertise and experience demonstrated in the past by Hampden’s election officials.
Councilor Kristen Hornbrook used the public comment section to say she was offended by Lawlis’ comments as well as those by Brann in which he suggested that all new councilors should be required to take a new “freshman councilor/electee” course offered to elected representatives in Bangor, Hampden, Brewer and neighboring communities.