May 25, 2018
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Byron resident wants to recall selectwoman who proposed requiring every house to own a gun

By Matthew Daigle, Sun Journal

BYRON, Maine – A Byron resident is seeking to recall the selectwoman who introduced a proposal to require every household to own a gun.

The recall petition was submitted to the Town Office on Thursday, asking for the recall of Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds.

Simmons-Edmunds said Thursday that she had been notified earlier about the petition, but wasn’t aware of any specific details.

Town Clerk Allison Freeman confirmed that the 17 signatures on the petition belonged to registered voters of the town, and all that remains to make it official is to present it before the Board of Selectmen.

The proposal was unanimously voted down by more than 60 residents.

Freeman pointed out one possible problem with the petition.

“The petition has to be addressed to the selectmen who are not being recalled,” Freeman explained. “Right now, it’s addressed to all of them, including Anne.

She said she would bring it to them at their meeting later that night.

The petition was initiated by Robert P. Bourassa, who presented five reasons explaining why Simmons-Edmunds should be recalled and removed from office, including the following:

* Violating her oath of office to uphold the constitution and laws of the state of Maine.

* Originating and causing the firearm ordinance article to be included on the Byron town meeting warrant without regard to state law that provides clarification on how a municipality announces an ordinance.

* Failing to inform voters at town meeting of state law that would have voided the firearm ordinance, if passed.

* Misleading voters at the town meeting, intentionally or otherwise, regarding a newspaper story about her by telling them she was misquoted.

* Subjecting residents of the town to ridicule, embarrassment and disrepute, intentionally or otherwise, by her actions and statements to the news media regarding the firearm ordinance article in the warrant.

Bourassa could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The recall petition comes nearly two weeks after residents overwhelmingly voted against a mandatory firearms possession article at the annual town meeting.

In the days preceding the town meeting, Simmons-Edmunds said she and fellow Selectmen Patrick Knapp-Veilleux and David Noyes approved placing the article on the town meeting warrant long before Sabattus resident David Marsters proposed the ordinance in that town.

At the Byron town meeting, Simmons-Edmunds said she was misquoted and that selectmen approved placing it on the warrant.

Noyes said he didn’t favor the article, but did agree to place it on the town meeting warrant.

Bruce Simmons, the father of Simmons-Edmunds, said Thursday afternoon, “I can’t say anything about this or I’ll end up in jail,” in regards to the recall petition.

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