January 10, 2013

Litchfield selectmen ban weddings at Town Office

The issue arose after a same-sex couple got a marriage license New Year's Eve, but was denied their request that one of the town's notaries conduct a ceremony.

From staff reports

LITCHFIELD — Selectmen voted 3-0 Tuesday to ban weddings at the Town Office.

Richard Acker, left, and Rich Hirschmann were turned away last month when they asked to be married by town staff in the Litchfield Town Office. Litchfield selectmen voted 3-0 Tuesday to ban all weddings at the Town Office.

Portland Press Herald file photo by Kelley Bouchard

Town Manager Michael Byron had recommended against allowing town employees who are notaries to conduct weddings at the office.

The issue arose after a same-sex couple got a marriage license New Year's Eve, but was denied their request that one of the town's notaries conduct a ceremony.

"With all the calls on municipal clerks for regular services, they don't have the time," Byron said.

Rich Hirschmann, who wanted to be married that day, said later that a policy was needed because the request created confusion.

"I think the whole thing was a misunderstanding," Hirschmann said Monday.

In other business, selectmen hired RJD Appraisal of Pittsfield to be the town's assessor's agent until June 30, 2014. Ellery Bane will be the agent dealing with Litchfield, Byron said.

Selectmen also named resident Deborah Campbell to the editor of the Sodalite, the town's newsletter. Two residents had sought the job and selectmen interviewed the candidates Tuesday night.

Byron said Campbell will use a computer at the Town Office to create the newsletter.

The town budgeted $6,270 for the newsletter, with $300 of that a stipend for the editor. The remainder covers expenses such as printing and mailing the newsletter and inserts for special information and surveys.

He also said Campbell, who retired a year ago as a technical writer, will try to help maintain the town's website and a separate stipend for that job might be included in next year's budget.

 

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