Hanson: Petition demands recall of health board chairman

The Town of Hanson has begun the process to recall from office controversial Board of Health Chairman Tom Constantine.

Hanson’s Board of Health chairman Tom Constantine says youth sports supporters didn’t like the board’s decision to limit outdoor activity during mosquito season and owners of farm animals in town don’t like the way the board treats them. He’s also had an ongoing disagreement with Selectmen and sought, unsuccessfully, a restraining order against Hanson Town Administrator Rene Reed. For whatever reason, his two-year tenure on the Board of Health has raised ire. Now, a group of residents have begun the process to recall him from office.

Town Clerk Elizabeth Sloan has certified 935 signatures of registered voters on a recall petition, more than enough to call an election. Tuesday night Hanson Selectmen voted to notify Constantine of the petition and, following town bylaw, give him until February 11th to resign or force a special election. That election would cost $4,000 to $6,000.

Asked whether Constantine should resign and save the town the cost of the election, Chairman of Selectmen Steve Amico said, “I absolutely support him for that.”

Minutes after selectmen voted to notify him of the successful recall petition, before he received the board’s letter, Constantine said he has no intention of resigning. Thirteen percent of Hanson voters signed the petition. Constantine said the election should go forward to demonstrate whether the remaining voters agree.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.