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Conway board puts resignation petition on record

CONWAY — The petition requesting the resignation of Selectman Rick Bean has been formally placed on the record and filed at the Town Office.

This week Heather Rose, chairwoman of the Personnel Committee, requested the selectmen to formally place the petition in the town record.

The Board of Selectmen filed the petition with the meeting minutes. When the board files documents, it keeps the paperwork at Town Office as public documents. Selectmen’s Chairman John O’Rourke said every document presented at a meeting is recorded in the meeting minutes.

O’Rourke said he will read the petition and make a statement at the board’s next meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. in the Conway Grammar School.

“I’ll see what it has to say and (the board) will decide what to do with the petition at the next meeting,” O’Rourke said.

Monday’s meeting was the first time the petition was presented to the board. O’Rourke said the selectmen “weren’t prepared to look at it the other night.”

On Jan. 3, a petition was placed at Baker’s Country Store.

The person who originated the petition has not come forward and remains unknown.

Baker’s owner Helen Baker said she doesn’t know who originated the petition. A copy was also placed at Sunset Trail Package Store, but owner Ray Langevin said he removed it because no one would claim to have created it.

The petition states “As tax-paying citizens and residents of the Town of Conway, MA, we no longer have confidence in the intention, willingness and ability of Selectboard member Richard Bean to serve the Town in a lawful, transparent and participatory manner, and as such, formally request the immediate resignation of Selectboard member Bean, to be replaced by another Conway resident with a special election to serve out the remainder of said Selectboard term.”

Unless Bean decides to resign from his position, there is not much the handful of petitioners can do. The town has no recall bylaw, which would enable residents to hold another election for the selectman’s seat. And to create a recall bylaw, the town must receive approval from the state Legislature, a process that could take up to a year and a half.

The town of Northfield recently enacted a bylaw to recall elected officials with the approval of the Legislature.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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