There won’t be a town charter amendment about recalling elected officials on the ballot in Windham in November.

The charter amendment was proposed to counter a citizens’ referendum about recall elections that is already on the ballot, but the Windham Town Council at a special meeting last week was one vote short of the required number to move it forward.

Another council attempt to counter the citizens’ referendum with a recall ordinance of its own failed in a tie vote Aug. 29.

The subject of recalls has caused disagreement on the council about how to approach the issue and some councilors and residents have questioned the tactics of the petitioners for the citizens’ ordinance along with the intentions behind it.

Councilor John Henry, however, who didn’t attend the Aug. 31 special meeting but provided a written statement, argued that the citizens’ petition should be respected and not be competed with on the ballot.

“The people of the town lawfully followed the rules for petition,” Henry said. “The process is the will of the people and should be respected.” Moving forward with a charter amendment would effectively “silence their efforts,” he said.


Resident Kathleen Marsh said the council rushed to propose the charter amendment, which, if passed in November, would be permanent.

Councilor Nicholas Kalogerakis agreed.

“What’s before us is the charter … Once it’s written into town law, that’s a very difficult process to change,” Kalogerakis said. “If the (citizens’ ordinance) fails, we can put our ordinance in then.”

But resident April O’Shea said the charter amendment was needed to counter the citizens’ ordinance, which was instigated in large part by a group of parents who were unsuccessful in getting select books removed from RSU 14 libraries this spring.

“The books were not removed, and now pops up the people’s recall,” O’Shea said. “I urge you the council to add your charter amendment to the ballot.”

Councilor Jarrod Maxfield was the strongest proponent Tuesday for putting the charter amendment on the ballot.


“We’ve heard a lot tonight about books and the school board, and I think most of us legitimately know that’s why we’re here tonight,” Maxfield said.

He said he believes those pushing for the citizens’ ordinance are doing so out of spite, and he also accused those who collected signatures on the petition of “bullying, intimidation and attacks,” misrepresentation and, in some cases, deliberate lies.

“One of my neighbors thought he was signing a recount petition,” Maxfield said. “Some folks are collecting signatures using outlandish scenarios and lies.”

Some petitioners claimed Maxfield needed to be recalled for not paying his taxes, which is a lie, Maxfield said.

“I think I’m defending my town and the people in it,” he said. “To the people who have been attacked and vilified and bullied, I’m not going to stop.”

To place the charter amendment on the ballot, the council needed four votes in favor. Maxfield and Councilors David Nadeau and Mark Morrison voted in favor, with Kalogerakis and Councilor William Reiner voting against. Henry and Councilor Brett Jones were not at the meeting.

The council unanimously agreed to print the entirety of the citizens’ ordinance on the ballot so that voters could read it in full.

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