Recall of Freedom selectmen fails

By Fran Gonzalez | Jun 11, 2019
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Freedom Selectman Steve Bennett holds up a spreadsheet outlining expenditures, demonstrating selectmen's efforts to provide transparency, while Selectman Ron Price looks on during an informational meeting June 6.

Freedom — Selectmen Steve Bennett and Ron Price get to keep their jobs.

Residents voted June 11 not to recall the two selectmen, effectively preventing the town from shutting down all municipal services.

The vote to recall Bennett was 64 yes to 184 no; to recall Price, 66 yes to 183 no.

At the Board of Selectmen's May 6 meeting, Bennett and Price were both read charges for which a recall vote would be taken. For Bennett, 53 registered voters signed a petition accusing him of "repeated violations of select board code of ethics" and "abuse of office of selectmen."

For Price, 51 signatures were collected on a petition accusing him of identical charges and also "continued conflict of interest regarding town business decisions/actions and personal family gain."

The recall election was the first real town controversy since its wind turbines in 2008. Bennett and Price were criticized for the state of gravel roads this spring, which may have led to the recall effort.

At an informational meeting June 6, Selectman Brian Jones said there would be a special town meeting Wednesday, June 19, to see if there is "a will among the citizens" to raise and appropriate additional money to rebuild Mitchell Road. There will be information for property owners to calculate the impact on their taxes, he said.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Eric Schrader | Jun 16, 2019 12:07

Maybe Steve Bennett and Ron Price need to go out of their way to listen to their constituents. The fact that there was a recall election says a lot. This is a good example why Maine needs the Local Option Sales Tax to generate extra revenue because the excise tax, which is supposed to be for roads and maintenance is dumped into the general fund to be used for anything.

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