CHELSEA — Residents this week elected six people to the town’s new Charter Commission, but voted down an ordinance prohibiting the sale and use of fireworks.

The secret ballot election on the fireworks ordinance was held Tuesday at the Town Office. The vote was 63 to 44 against adopting the ordinance.

“The general consensus is that Chelsea historically has always had a do what we want attitude and that’s fine,” Town Manager Scott Tilton said Thursday. “They don’t like regulations.”

Tilton said selectmen were not able to make a strong enough case for the ordinance. He said the Fireworks Committee recommended adopting the ordinance because the use of fireworks is a safety issue.

“They felt fireworks would be unsafe and so we wanted to have some kind of regulation against the use of them,” he said. “Some of these are very dangerous. They can cross people’s property, so there were issues. The fire department had concerns with them starting house and forest fires.”

Residents on Tuesday elected Elizabeth Cousins, Richard Danforth, Maria Jacques, Scott Ludwig, Barbara Skehan and Charles Skehan to the Charter Commission.

Tilton said the town charter outlines how the community is governed. The commission can choose to increase the number of selectmen; include a recall provision for elected officials; and have seats on the Budget Committee become elected positions — all ideas that have been discussed recently.

Tilton said the adoption of a charter will provide the town with clear rules for better self-governance, rather than relying on state regulations.

Selectman Ben Smith has said the town would benefit from having rules regarding removal of a select board member because of former selectwoman Carole Swan, who refused to resign from the board following her arrest a year ago. Swan, whose case is pending in federal court, is accused of misusing town money and soliciting more than $20,000 in kickbacks from a Whitefield plow contractor.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]


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