PALERMO — Selectmen want to pull the plug on the town’s 1993 cable television ordinance.

The question is: how?

The ordinance requires a cable company offering service anywhere in Palermo to serve anyone who asks and who is on a telephone or electrical line within three years. Selectmen see the requirement as a deterrent to cable companies, which often offer service only in more densely populated areas of a rural towns such as Palermo. The town has no cable service.

At a selectmen’s meeting Thursday night, Town Clerk Sheila McCarty outlined options for repealing the ordinance as suggested by the Maine Municipal Association. A repeal could be accomplished by written ballot in March, by petition, or at the March Town Meeting if selectmen offer a warrant article, she said.

Selectman Harry Dean Potter, however, said he had read that cable ordinances are solely within selectmen’s authority, not that of town voters.

McCarty and Potter said they will continue to research the issue.


If the ordinance is eliminated, selectmen plan to ask town voters in March for authorization to negotiate a cable contract for the town.

In other business Thursday, selectmen discussed several pending meetings, including:

* A special board meeting at 6 p.m. Monday to hear a request for a tax abatement; the meeting will be held in executive session.

* On Thursday, the Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit board will meet at 6:30 p.m. at Windsor Elementary School. The agenda includes consideration of the financial impact of Wiscasset’s withdrawal on other towns.

* Also Thursday, the Tri-County Solid Waste Management board will meet at the Town Office.

* At 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, a public informational meeting on the report of the Compensation Committee will be held at Palermo Community School if the regional school office approves use of the building.

McCarty said Friday a majority of office staff plan not to attend next Saturday’s meeting, so the office will be open from 9 a.m. to noon as usual.

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