Selectman Leonard Lookner walked out of the Sept. 9 Select Board meeting in protest, saying he did not agree with the board's decision to reword an advisory question.

"This whole thing is a sham and I am, for the first time, really not happy to be on the board. … I'm going to get up from this meeting after the vote and leave. …Because of what you've done. I'm appalled at what you've done," he said, as he packed his belongings.

Lookner was opposed to rewording the ballot question regarding the tannery and said the board already chose and approved the wording. The property at 116 Washington St., known as the tannery property, has been town-owned since 2003 when it was acquired for non-payment of taxes. In the years since, there have been a few businesses interested in the property, most recently North East Mobile Health Services. Following a swell of opposition by neighbors of the property, the ambulance service released the town from negotiations. Selectmen on Sept. 2 agreed to allow voters a chance to choose commercial use or public use of the property; the question will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Lookner called the move to reconsider the question "skullduggery" and questioned the board's ability to "change it on a whim."

"I think the citizens of Camden should be appalled," he said.

The information to accompany the ballot question is "incredibly biased," according to Lookner.

"You're picking and choosing to make it what you want and it's biased," he said.

Selectman John French said the question was not intended to be closely defined, as the vote is advisory, and further discussions would be required before a specific use is decided for the property.

"I think the citizens need to be given clear direction," Select Board Chairman Martin Cates said.

Describing the word "park" as a "flash word," Selectman Jim Heard said people react negatively and said he did not want to include it in the question.

"'Public use,' we could put a fire station there," Cates said, listing additional public uses possible under the technical definition. "If the town says 'we want a park' we will have direction."

Lookner also accused the board of "reneging on your word" by reconsidering the vote and said it reflected poorly on their character.

"If you think my character is bad because I'm now looking at the wording, you go ahead and say that, Leonard," Cates said.

Ultimately, the remaining board members approved the reworded question, which asks residents to check off either business/commercial use or park/open space use of the tannery property.