April 11, 2013

OOB recall petitions submitted

A group of residents says each of the petitions to oust four councilors holds nearly 1,000 signatures.

By Gillian Graham ggraham@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

OLD ORCHARD BEACH A group of residents submitted petitions to the town Thursday calling for the recall of four town councilors.

Each of the four petitions was signed by nearly 1,000 voters, according to a leader of the effort. The town clerk has 10 days to certify that there enough valid signatures -- 815 is the minimum -- to force a recall election with an up-or-down vote on each of the four councilors.

The recall committee, known as Recall 4, is the first of two rival groups to submit signed petitions to Town Clerk Kim McLaughlin. Recall 4 wants to remove council Chairwoman Sharri MacDonald, Vice Chairwoman Laura Bolduc, and Councilors Dana Furtado and Linda Mailhot.

Those four voted in early March to terminate the contract of the town manager, but have not publicly disclosed the reason.

A separate group is seeking to recall the other three members of the council: Michael Coleman, Robin Dayton and Robert Quinn. That group has until Tuesday to return its three petitions to the town clerk's office.

The recall efforts follow months of contentious meetings and a vote by the council's four-member majority to oust Town Manager Mark Pearson. Pearson is now suing the town in an attempt to get his job back.

David Francoeur, chairman of the Recall 4 committee, said he is confident that his committee has enough valid signatures on each petition to move forward with the townwide vote, which would be scheduled by the council.

He said each petition circulated by the group has just shy of 1,000 signatures.

"We have plenty of insurance in the bank," he said.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

ggraham@pressherald.com

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