Hampden council schedules special meeting after lack of quorum prompts cancellation

Posted July 09, 2014, at 5:35 a.m.

HAMPDEN, Maine — Local officials have scheduled a special meeting for next week to conduct business they would have handled on Monday night — if they had the necessary quorum.

The meeting was slated to begin at 7 p.m., however, it was canceled at 7:15 p.m. when the council found itself one member short of a quorum, with Mayor Carol Deprey and members David Ryder, Jean Lawlis and Ivan McPike on hand.

About 10 members of the public had turned up for the meeting, during which zoning amendments, contract awards and other local matters were going to be addressed.

A special meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, July 14, to take up agenda items from the meeting that was canceled, Town Manager Susan Lessard said Tuesday.

In Hampden, which has a seven-member Town Council, it takes five members to constitute a quorum.

Councilors Greg Sirois and Thomas Brann notified Lessard last week that they would be on vacation this week, Lessard said, and Councilor William Shakespeare indicated earlier that day that he was unable to attend Monday night’s meeting because of a family emergency.

Monday’s meeting cancellation was not the first in recent months to be prompted by the lack of a quorum.

On June 2, three councilors boycotted a regular meeting, forcing the meeting’s cancellation.

The cancellation of that meeting came at a critical time, Lessard noted at that time. The agenda included the introduction of the proposed 2014-15 budget for a public hearing on June 16 — the council’s deadline for doing so to comply with a town charter provision requiring that the budget hearing take place no later than the third Monday in June.

A special council meeting was held in order to meet that deadline.

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