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Scarborough Charter: Amendments would allow recall of elected officials

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Scarborough Charter: Amendments would allow recall of elected officials

SCARBOROUGH — Voters in November will be asked if they want to approve six amendments to the Town Charter, including changes that would give citizens the ability to recall elected officials and to overrule property sales approved by the Town Council.

The amendments would also prohibit School Board members from serving as members of the Sanitary District, fix Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals membership at five appointed members and two alternates, and permanently establish a Long Range Planning Committee.

Question 5, the recall provision, would give a citizen group of 25 registered voters 20 days to collect signatures from the equivalent of 25 percent of the voters in the most recent gubernatorial election to force a referendum within 60 days.

In the referendum, a turnout equivalent to 30 percent of the voters in the most recent gubernatorial election would be required for the recall to be successful.

When it was approved by the council in September, several councilors offered amendments, one to increase the number of required voters to 40 percent, and one to lower the threshold to 15 percent. A compromise was reached and 30 percent was approved unanimously.

Question 4 asks voters to approve a provision that would allow citizens to overturn council decisions on town-owned property worth more than $400,000. This provision came out of a citizen request of the Charter Committee on the heels of the land swap between the town and the Lighthouse Motel at Pine Point, which was unpopular with some Pine Point residents.

The provision would allow citizens to petition for a referendum to overturn conveyances of property worth more than $400,000. The petition would have to be signed by the equivalent of 25 percent of the number of voters at the most recent gubernatorial election. The town would then hold a general election on the issue.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net