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Selectmen should use their Home Rule authority to implement five-member BOS

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Corinna Cole (Courtesy photo)

On Nov. 10, 2018 the voters of Lebanon passed a referendum to increase the selectboard from three members to five members on or before the June 2019 annual town vote.

It seemed like a simple thing to implement. Put two three-year selectmen's seats and a two-year selectman's seat on the ballot when we vote in June.

Staggering the terms this way we would not be replacing three selectmen all at once every three years. Something similar was done when we needed to vote for two selectmen just recently. I apologize for not spelling out how we should add the two new selectmen in the referendum because now it seems to have created a problem.

The current selectboard have been discussing the possibility of holding a Special Election, possibly in mid-February to spell out exactly how they would like to add the two new selectmen positions, as I outlined above, and want the voters to decide if this is how they want to address it.

I asked the selectmen if it was defeated then what will happen and they were not sure. They are waiting on a reply from the lawyer.

While I know it is their job to anticipate possible challenges, they should also use their power of Home Rule, make the best decision for the town to implement the referendum that was approved by the voters, saving us the confusion and the expense of a Special Election.

The selectmen still have time to save the town some money and avoid any confusion by just using their Home Rule authority.

Let us avoid having to hold a Special Election in the middle of winter when a snow or ice storm could lead to just a trickle of voters at the polls and possibly undermine the will of the people spelled out on Nov. 10.

- Corinna Cole,

Lebanon

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