The town of Freedom seemingly couldn’t find a reason to recall two selectmen last week, despite circulating petitions to do so receiving more than 50 signatures each.

Despite this, the town will hold a recall vote Tuesday for selectmen Stephen Bennett and Ron Price on accusations of code of ethics violations and abuse of the office.

The vote comes after petitions gained 53 and 51 votes, respectively, for the recall of the town officials.

The reason given on the petition for Bennett’s recall was repeated violations of the select board code of ethics and for abuse of the selectmen office. Price’s recall petition cited repeated violations of the select board code of ethics, a conflict of interest on town business for personal or family gain and abuse of the selectmen office.

Freedom doesn’t have a code of ethics, but elected officials are still subject to the state’s code of ethics.

A special town meeting took place Thursday to discuss the petitions and Tuesday’s vote, but few residents showed up to voice their reasons for wanting the men removed.

Not many of the residents who signed the recalls showed up to the meeting, so the accusations in the petitions were not elaborated.

There were about 50 people at the meeting, but only six or eight people were there who wanted the selectmen to be recalled, said Freedom resident Sally Ann Hadyniak, who is in favor of keeping the men in office.

Another Freedom resident, Laura Greeley, said she signed the petition because the selectmen wouldn’t repair a section of Mitchell Road, where she lives, that caused her car to get stuck.

Greeley said she runs a day-care service from her house, and if an emergency vehicle needed to get to her, they wouldn’t always be able to.

Hadyniak said that, for six weeks, about 15 people have been coming to town meetings to complain about Mitchell Road. She said Greeley sounds like a broken record and that it had nothing to do with the selectmen.

Hadyniak said that to schedule a special meeting like this can be expensive, because a police officer was hired as well as a moderator.

Price, who was just re-elected to another three-year term, said though he was initially concerned, he left the special meeting “feeling pretty good,” about his chances of winning the recall.


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