HOPE — Select board members are expected at their Tuesday Jan. 10 meeting to discuss calling a special town meeting to let voters decide if they want to shrink the Hope Planning Board.

The idea has been floated among the five select board members to cut the seven-member, appointed planning body also to five members. It is all about trying to make sure the board, when meeting, has the required number of members, or quorum, needed to legally conduct business, according to town administrator Samantha Mark.

A seven-member planning board requires a quorum of four to conduct business; with five members, an easier-to-assemble quorum of three can meet and do the town’s business, she said.

“If three go on vacation, nobody (else) can be absent,” if meetings are to be held, she explained.

Complicating the situation, the current planning board has two vacancies and has been operating with five members, only one more than a legal quorum.

The Camden Herald emailed a questionnaire to each select board member asking where they stand on the matter and the pros and cons of shrinking the planning board. None of the elected officials answered the questionnaire.

However, select board chair Sarah Ann Smith wrote back: “Samantha, our Town Administrator, is the front line on answering questions from the press, so I am forwarding this to her for a reply. It’s all fairly simple and collegial, but I will let her provide you the details. Thanks.”

Of the town’s six major committees and boards, three are elected bodies. They are the select board and budget and school committees, according to Mank. Appointed bodies are the planning and appeals boards and the recreation committee.

Like the planning board, the appeals board and budget committee also have vacancies of one and two members, respectively.

The town’s website, hopemaine.org, has information for anyone interested in a board or committee position. For more information, call the town office at 763-4199 or email questions to admin@hopemaine.org.