New Gloucester Selectboard criticized for violating charter commission statute

Already far past the deadline set by state law for appointing members of the charter commission, the select board voted to move appointments from early July to April.

| Emily Bader, Lakes Region Weekly |

After some backlash for failing to appoint members to the charter commission in a timely manner, the New Gloucester Selectboard Monday reversed its position and voted to name the members in April instead of in July.

Voters in November approved forming a charter commission, with supporters saying a town charter will give residents more oversight of local government and will increase transparency in town affairs.

The charter commission, in accordance with state law, will be comprised of six elected officials and three members appointed by the Selectboard. The law also says if commission members are not elected at the time of the referendum, they must be elected at the next regular or special election.  The Selectboard must make its appointments within 30 days after voters approve creating the commission.

The election of members could have been held Dec. 15, 2020, at the same time as the special vote on the library budget referendum, meaning the Selectboard would have had to make appointments by Dec. 3. Neither action was taken. Keep reading