WATERBORO — A vote a selectman cast in April against a proposed ordinance that would have allowed all terrain vehicles to use three public roads has sparked a sign campaign against him.

Tim Neill, a former longtime member of the Planning Board, is seeking his second three-year term as a Waterboro selectman. He currently serves as vice chairman of the board.

He was one of two selectmen who voted against a proposed ordinance that would have allowed ATVs to use portions of Ossipee Hill Road, the improved section of McLucas Road and parts of Deering Ridge Road. Selectman Dwayne Woodsome also cast a “no” vote.

Voting in favor were board Chairman Dennis Abbott, who also is seeking re-election, and Selectman Ted Doyle. Selectman Gordon Littlefield abstained. Neill also voted against a motion to send the matter to referendum on June 11 – at a juncture when a unanimous vote would have been necessary to do so.

Within the last few days, signs have cropped up in town that say “Selectman Tim Neill is anti-ATV. Vote June 11. It’s time for Tim to go!”

Neill, who lives on Deering Ridge Road, said he is concerned about safety.

“I think the negative signs are just a smear campaign,” he said in an email. “I am opposed to ATVs on public roads, for good reasons. Since the pro-road use people can’t dispute the safety issues, they resort to character assassination.”

Voters on June 11 will choose two selectman from a slate of three candidates. Maine House Republican Rep. Dwayne Prescott also is on the ballot.

Waterboro resident Trish Kennedy said she and her husband, Sean, are avid ATV riders and decided to put up the signs.

“We ride all season long, from East Waterboro all the way to Sebago,” she said in a message. But she said she and her husband can’t get to the trails located near the Ossipee Mountain ATVers Club on Old Alfred Road and so aren’t members.

“We are doing this solely for our love of the trails and support of our clubs and fellow ATV enthusiasts in Waterboro,” Kennedy said.

In Waterboro, selectmen may enact ordinances, but if they choose, they can send a proposal to referendum. This month, the selectmen discussed putting the proposed ATV ordinance to voters in the November election, but so far have not taken a vote.

Todd Abbott, the president of the Ossipee Mountain ATVers Club and son of the board chairman, said the club would bring the matter back to the board for this riding season if there is a change on the board as a result of the June 11 election. If there is no change, he said the ATV club will hope for a November referendum and would seek additional roads to be added to the proposal. Originally, he said the club proposed the least number of roads required.

“My only opinion on the signs is, it’s nice to see public support,” he said.

Todd Abbott said the club has not taken a position on the selectman’s race and he doesn’t expect that it will.

The club was seeking to use the three roads as a way to link existing trails. At one time, the club had access through a private, 160-acre parcel, but the land sold and the new owner doesn’t want ATV riders using the property, he said. As matters now stand, he said there’s a gap in the system that would otherwise allow riders from Lebanon, Sanford and Waterboro to ride to Hollis, Limington and Standish.

“The state does allow ATV access routes, period,” Todd Abbott said. “We wanted an ordinance that would control these access roads and use them in a way Waterboro would like them to be used.”

Prescott did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

Tammy Wells — 207-780-9016

[email protected]

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