The Readfield Select Board rejected by a vote of 3-2 a move by some residents to put a proposed ordinance on the Nov. 3 ballot that would allow residents to amend secret-ballot articles by majority vote at a specific amendment meeting, among other things.

The ordinance was submitted by petition, which contained 165 verified signatures, according to Town Clerk Robin Lint, and would have altered the way in which the town conducts some of its business.

It called for a three-session process for the Town Meeting by secret ballot.

Those voting against putting the petition on the ballot Monday night were Select Board Chairwoman Valarie Pomerleau, Vice Chairman Tom Dunham and Alan Curtis.

Those in favor of putting it on the ballot were Bruce Bourgoine and Christine Sammons.

The vote came after Pomerleau read aloud advice from Maine Municipal Association’s legal department and the town’s attorney, Stephen Langsdorf.

Both recommended against putting it on the ballot.

Pomerleau said Tuesday that the attorneys said two of the items in the proposed ordinance “appeared to alter the procedures required in a Maine statute and intrude on the discretion of selectmen.” Several others restate current state law, they told her.

“We want to work together and make sure the secret ballot works,” Pomerleau said. “The town does not have a charter, and there’s some fine-tuning that needs to be done. We were advised by MMA and the town’s attorney that this is not the way to do it.”

The town held a second secret ballot vote Sept. 1 after several warrant articles were rejected in the previous round of voting in June.

“There are some kinks in the secret-ballot process. The town had to revote on several articles, including assessors and dam repairs, and we do need to figure out a way to prevent that from happening and be in the best interest of the town,” Pomerleau said.

Several residents who had helped lead the petition drive were unreachable by phone on Tuesday.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

 

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