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Despite sixth-month absence Glenn Harris still claims membership on Lisbon Planning Board

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LISBON – Lisbon Planning Board member Glenn R. Harris hasn’t attended a Planning Board meeting since October, but the Town Council’s hands might be tied when it comes to replacing him.

Mr. Harris claimed via email Monday that his “plan at this time is to remain on the board,” but he did not give a reason when asked about his absence over the past six months.

Mr. Harris’s failure to formally resign has prevented the Town Council from appointing a new member to take his place.

In October former Planning Board Secretary Patrick M. Madlin said Mr. Harris had resigned, but as of Monday the town still had not received an official resignation notice according to Town Clerk Donna D. McBath.

Planning Board Chairman Steven Wallace had also confirmed Mr. Harris’s intention to resign from the board. Mr. Wallace could not be reached to comment Monday.

Mr. Madlin resigned from the board in November, citing tension with the Town Council.

Last month the council appointed two new members to the Planning Board, William E. Wheeler and Mark Hyde, to replace Mr. Madlin and William Leary, who resigned for personal reasons.

That brings the total number of active members of the Planning Board up to six, including Mr. Wallace, Steven Jemison, Rhonda Roethel and Donald Merkley.

At the March council meeting, Town Supervisor James W. Armstrong said he doesn’t think the council has the authority to remove Mr. Harris from the Planning Board.

Mrs. McBath said she is unaware of any procedures the Town Council can use to remove an inactive member from the Planning Board.

Mr. Armstrong said he would speak with Mr. Harris about the issue before the next council meeting, scheduled for April 10.

Mr. Armstrong could not be reached for comment.

“At this point Mr. Harris should just give us his resignation and move forward,” Councilwoman Susan M. Duffy said.

Ms. Duffy added that she isn’t sure what the next step is for the Town Council, but its options are being explored.

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