Byron selectman survives recall attempt by one vote

Posted May 09, 2013, at 1:05 p.m.

BYRON, Maine — By a margin of one vote, residents voted Wednesday for Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds to remain in office.

According to resident Sarah Paquette, and confirmed by Town Clerk Allison Freeman, the tally was 32-31 in favor of Simmons-Edmunds remaining in office.

The recall process began on March 21, after resident Robert P. Bourassa submitted a recall petition to the Town Office asking for the removal of Simmons-Edmunds from her position as selectman.

Bourassa’s petition came two weeks after residents overwhelmingly voted against a mandatory firearms possession article at the annual town meeting.

Simmons-Edmunds said prior to the town meeting that all three selectmen favored the article and expected residents to approve it. During the town meeting, however, she claimed that she was misquoted and that selectmen approved placing it on the warrant.

In the petition, Bourassa presented five reasons why Simmons-Edmunds should be recalled and removed from office, including subjecting residents of the town to ridicule, embarrassment and disrepute, failing to inform voters of a state law that would have voided the firearm ordinance, if passed, and misleading voters at the annual town meeting regarding a newspaper story about her by telling them she was misquoted.

Residents will face another vote at 6:30 p.m. May 14 at the Town Office to decide who will replace former Selectman Patrick Knapp-Veilleux, who resigned from his position on March 29, citing personal reasons and the discord over the town vote against the mandatory firearms possession article.

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