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Recall of elected officials on Hope ballot

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 27, 2020
Hope voters will decide on a recall ordinance for local elected officials, a dog ordinance and funds to livestream public meetings Nov. 3.

Hope — On Nov. 3, voters will decide on adopting a recall procedure for local elected officials, an animal control ordinance and funds for livestreaming public meetings.

The recall process involves gathering signatures of Hope residents on citizen petitions stating the name and address of the official to be recalled. The petition has to have the signatures "of no less than 10% of the voters of the municipality voting in the last gubernatorial election."

The petition process is started with an affidavit containing the signatures of five or more Hope residents who are registered voters, and a statement of the reasons for removal of the official. This affidavit is turned in to the town clerk.

If the affidavit complies with details laid out in the ordinance, the town clerk has to issue the blank citizen petitions within five days. The ordinance also contains regulations for the signature gathering process. One rule requires that each signature be made in the presence of a the petition circulator.

The signed recall petition has to be returned to the town clerk within 30 days after the affidavit is filed.

In September, a petition was presented to the town clerk, signed by 100 Hope residents, seeking to place a question on the Nov. 3 ballot to enact a new recall ordinance for elected officials.

Voters will decide on a town dog ordinance that conforms with state law. The local ordinance includes the use of a form by the local animal control office to cite violations and fines. The form, called the Animal Control Ordinance/Title 7 Maine Animal Law Violation Notice, has a check off section for a warning or a fine for violations, including unlicensed dog, missing proof of rabies vaccination, nuisance barking, dog at large and animal trespass. Fines for these violations range from $50 to $500 dollars. The largest fine is for a violation of minimum shelter requirements, which ranges from $500 to $2,500 dollars.

Voters will be asked to authorize the use of $2,000 from the undesignated fund balance to be used to purchase, lease or rent camera equipment, and for subscription fees, to livestream public meetings and add videos to the town website, through June 2021. Any additional expenditures on livestreaming will go before voters at next year's town meeting.

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