BERWICK, Maine — Residents haven’t missed the latest message displayed on a sign at Stone Agency that advertises recall petitions of four town selectmen.
The Stone Agency sign at 48 School St. advertises recall petitions and lists the board of selectman’s Chair Bryan O’Connor, Vice Chair Robert Chrichton, and Eleanor Murphy and Edward Ganiere.
Business owner and former state representative and selectman Oscar Stone, said of the four selectmen, “They’re behaving badly, very simple.”
Stone said he is doing the community a service by providing a place people can go to see and sign the petitions. The town of Berwick has a recall ordinance that will require a vote on the potential recall if signatures amounting to 10 percent of the town’s last gubernatorial race are collected.
If Stone gets 252 signatures on each selectman, the recall will be put to a vote, he said. “I’ve got about a dozen signatures on each,” Stone said, adding they’d only been out for about five days at that time.
Stone is providing copies to others who want to circulate them as well. “It’s not just me. There’s a lot of people who are just plain tired of it,” he said. “They’re back doing the same stuff that the last board did that got thrown out.”
Stone said the selectmen recently approved and spent $13,000 to have a study done on the fire department. “And now they want to shelf it. They spent $15,000 four years ago on the police and they shelved that too,” he said.
Stone explained he just couldn’t understand the selectmen spending money on these things and then doing nothing with the results of the reports.
Stone noted the selectmen’s inconsistency with meeting schedules and the information not being publicly available ahead of time on the town’s website. He added that the chairman whispers during the meetings.
“Transparency means a different thing to them than it does to the rest of us I guess,” he said. “I guess that’s called hiding in plain sight.”
Selectman Bryan O’Connor said he is aware of the sign and the recall petition. “Frankly, this is just one of many times in the last 17 months that I and others have been warned of a possible recall petition or active petition,” he said.
O’Connor said he is more concerned with fulfilling his duties and obligations as a member of the board of selectman at this time than the sign or the petition.
“As long as I am a member of this board, I will continue to do my best to act in the best interest of the Town of Berwick,” he said.
Chrichton, Murphy and Ganiere were also contacted for comment, but did not provide any response.
‘It’s nothing personal,” said Stone. “I don’t have anything against any of them. I just can’t see how they can do business the way they do business.”
Distributed by MCT Information Services